As I anticipate the arrival of the seeds ordered earlier this month, I remember the Parable of the Sower, recorded in Matthew 13.
Jesus told about a farmer who scattered seeds randomly. Some fell along a path where they were trampled and consumed by birds; they never had a chance. Some seeds fell on rock, and when they sprouted, they withered and died because they had no moisture. Other seeds fell among thorns, which grew with them and choked them. But the fortunate seeds fell on good soil, grew, and yielded a crop one hundred times more than what was sown.
I know that God is the Master Gardener who doesn’t tire of His work.
And so, I plant. I plant my seeds carefully and wait anxiously to see their sprouts appear, hoping they will flourish and produce a good crop. How will my garden grow?
I imagine God watched and waited for me the same way, wondering when I would bloom. What took so long for me to grow spiritually? I ask myself as I pick up my hoe.
I came to know Christ as my Savior when I was a child, but many of the fruits of the spirit lay dormant for years, like some of the plants in my garden.
When I was a child, I attended church several times a week. I memorized Bible verses. I knew God wanted me to walk closer to Him. But too often I followed the words of this world—the seeds sown on rocks — instead of God’s Holy Word.
I planted seeds of doubt and discouragement in my life.
Am I good enough?
Will they like me?
Maybe if I did this instead…
If I do this… then I will be…
We all have decisions to make: Do we allow ourselves to take the easy path and find ourselves trampled and dead spiritually? Are we like the seed that lives a wilted, stunted life before withering away?
When I ask myself those questions, I know I can turn to Paul’s admonishment in Romans 12:1-2, MSG, and uproot and replant my thoughts and deeds:
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
That’s the Master Gardener’s plan for all of us!
So, as you gaze out your window, this might be the perfect time to root yourself in His Word and seek to do His will. We can all bloom where we are planted.
Just as I’ve learned to be patient in watching my garden sprout and grow, I’m learning not to fret about the pace of my own spiritual growth. God, the Master Gardener has already sown seeds in our lives and is pruning and nurturing us every day.
I’m going to try something new in my garden this year. I plan to designate scriptures to memorize and meditate on as I plant the different sections.
I think Psalm 119:11, NIV will mark the row of beans, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
The verses I will focus on working in my hydrangeas will be Psalm 1:2-3, NLT “They delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted by the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
Working in the garden, digging in the dirt, planting, weeding, and watching the fruits of my labor blossom and bloom will take on a new meaning this year!
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