Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Are You Growing?

I can hardly believe how the time has slipped away.  I have neglected my postings.  My disappearance in writing is just a reflection of how over-committed I am and how undisciplined the real me is.  So I apologize to my readers and take up the keyboard once again and make a vow to be diligent to write on a more regular basis.  I have so much too say.  So much to reflect upon.  So much to be thankful for.

I have been working in my garden this summer. I love spending time outside pulling weeds, watering and tilling the soil around healthy plants.  Most of my garden I have gown from seed.  I started my garden the last week of May.  The ground was broke open by the blades of the rototiller and them smoothed out by the combs of the rake. Compost was mixed in to fertilize the ground and recharge it for yet another season of production. Then, tiny seed packets were opened and in faith they found their places in the darkness beneath the earth.  Nothing seemed to be happening. I was waiting. The sun shinned down beating the ground till a crust formed over the rows.  Water sprinkled over top of neat rows, quenching the thirst of dry ground. And then one day, a tiny sign of life poked up through the crevices of earth, reaching for sunlight and air.  It was a glorious day.  I celebrated.  The conversion from seed to sprout to plant had occurred.

"Then he told them many things in parables, saying: A farmer went out to sow his seed.  A he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13: 3-8 

 During the time the seed is hidden a mysterious work is done.  It is the work of the Father. This kind of growth takes place in our own lives. Like that tiny seed, if we are to grow into a mature believers and become new creations in Christ we must undergo a transformation.  This is an unseen process, naked to the human eye.  It is a painful and sometimes lonely process that can last a season.  This is where questions arise and the wrestler inside us grips hard for the fight.  It works because in the end we choose to give up, surrender to the Father's way and trust.

"Somehow God is able to do his best work in the depths of the compost of our lives." Tri Robinson

Only God can take a life stuck in the pit and make something beautiful out of it.  I know this to be true in my own life.  We have to wait paitenly for the seed to sprout.  This is the same in our faith journey.  Only God can transform my life in good soil I have planted myself in. This good soil I speak of is available to all.  It is the Word.  It is the picture of the tree by the river, sinking roots down deep.  One of my most recent favorite passages in scripture is Psalm 1.  When one is planted by the Rivers of Living Water -- fruit will come in season.

"And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest." Luke 8:15

I am still waiting for the harvest in my garden.  I patiently tend to it knowing in season I will reap what I have sown.  I can't wait to taste the hot tomatoes fresh from off the vine, snap peas right out of the pods and can pickles for another day to savor.  I get asked often what are you growing in your garden?  I smile.  I am growing nothing.  God, He is growing a harvest I have the privilege to watch it come to maturity. In my own life I go through seasons of being stuck in the manure pile to enjoying the fruit of my labor.  It's a constant cycle.  Seasons change.  Lives can be remade.  He does make beautiful things and gardens can grown up out of the soil of my own heart.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But death will produce many new kernels - a plentiful harvest of new live." 
John 12:24

"If real maturity and fruitfulness are to be produced in and through our lives, two things must happen.  First, we must die to ourselves; and second, we must submit ourselves to a long, deep, and transforming process that allows God to rebuild us into his creation."  Tri Robinson

What are you growing in your garden (life)? 

Enjoy this song -- Beautiful Things by Gungor

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