Ah! Spring and warmer weather! How I enjoy watching the signs of spring to appear. Promise of more sunshine. Longer days. And it seems the long, gloomy days of winter are long gone. It also brings on the task of gardening.
I became a fan of gardening when my youngest was in elementary school. He would often come home from school, having held all his frenzied emotions in to get through a long, trying day; he released them on the people he deemed the most safe-those at home. Cooking was one way he would calm his wayward emotions, but gardening was our next go-to strategy to release the grip anxiety and autism had on his overwhelmed brain.
I found myself using plants and flowers last year in the throes of my own uncertainty while the world shut-down, and I meadered through an unexpected furlough. I desired the art of nurturing. And plants allowed that. They need to be nurtured, and I craved order; gardening does that, too. Demands order. Plus…it’s hard work. It is hard to keep your mind on anything chaotic when you are digging holes , digging in dirt, batting at flies, pulling weeds, and wielding a shovel or rake.
So I crafted a container garden on my back porch and got to work with transplanting some flowers, fruits and vegetables I could nurture and watch grow. And I did the same this year, as the dreary, cold winter days I tend to dread made way to promises of brighter days I look forward to. Brighter days with blooming flowers, green leaves, fruits on stems, and small shoots of vegetables peeking from tender green stems. I like watching the blooming.
In my garden, I have learned I hate to plant seeds. I’ve tried it, and each time I have failed. Nothing grows. I don’t even see a green leaf peeking out of the dirt.
Leaving me to believe a number of things: I failed. I am no good. I got it all wrong. Or I do what I do in my gardening state-avoid it altogether. I just don’t do that thing anymore. I’ll let the farmers do that thing instead.
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9. NLT
Did you know this? By the time those green strawberry or jalapeno plants make it to your local nursery, secure in their little black containers, with green shoots, and ready to be transplanted into your garden…they have been growing for weeks, or months. For instance, it can take 3-6 months for a strawberry plant to be ready to transplant once planted from seed. Meaning that farmer worked in a field on that seed long before you got that plant home, has no clue where it ended up, and who it may be blessing. Yet, he is still in his field, planting seeds.
In some seasons I have been the planter of seeds in another’s heart. And sometimes I have been the one to water. Other times, someone else comes along, and waters something I have planted. I may not see the green leaves, or the blooms that my planting produced. I have no idea where that little seedling may have ended up.
But He does. God knows. Because God is the one who ultimately makes the seeds we plant grow. He is the one who is in charge of the blooming process. The timing. The when. The how.
We may play one small part in tending to God’s field. In helping His garden bloom, but He is the one in control of the entire process.
Who is chosen to plant the seed is up to Him. Who is chosen to come along and water what was already growing in the soil of the heart is up to him. When those flowers, or the fruit of His Spirit blooms is up to Him.
We may never see it. We never know exactly what part we played, but we can trust the process, because we know God will tend to what He wanted planted; and He won’t leave the harvest to wilt away.
We can trust God to tend to the blooms, to the harvest, and to show up in homes even when we can’t see.
But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. Luke 8:15,MSG
Whether you are the planter, or the one who waters; the seed-that is, the Word of God-once that seed is sent out, it will grow within the hearts of those God designed to bloom, in the ways and time He sees fit for His glory.
We may never see the harvest from what we have tended or planted, but once sent out, God will ensure the harvest is reaped. You keep planting. You keep watering. Let Him tend to the harvest.