I remember as a child having my very first garden.
I knew I had to start by preparing the soil but tilling the ground seemed an impossible task. I was only seven years old. Thankfully, I was not alone or left with just some instructions. A close friend of the family, Mr. Langhorn, guided me through the steps of gardening. Which began with tilling the ground and removing the weeds. I learned that the soil had to be properly prepared to receive the seed so that it might have the best chance of producing fruit. As I began that day, I quickly realized I needed more help and thankfully my family joined in. We worked all day to ready the soil for the seed and at the end of the day it was finally time to plant. I was carefully instructed on how to plant each seed with attention given to its proper depth and spacing. I was so thankful that my friend took the time to mentor me by not only telling me what to do but also showing me and allowed me to work under his watchful care. At the end of the day I was very tired but extremely satisfied with all the work that had been accomplished.
The next day I could hardly wait to get out to my new garden.
I totally expected to see mature, ready to pick produce but much to my disappointment there was no change. I learned that I had to be patient and wait for my plants to grow. Every day I would quickly run to the window to check on my patch of dirt hoping to see some sprouts. Little did I know they were growing under the soil all this time.
I will never forget that day I peeked out the window and saw my garden filled with little sprouts. I was so encouraged by this. But then I also noticed that along with vegetable sprouts, weeds had also begun to sneak in. As my plants grew, so did the weeds. In an effort to keep the weeds out, I came up with my own technique to rid my garden of those pesky, unwanted invaders. I would pull up the entire plant from the ground, remove all the weeds and then place the plant back in its spot. My mom saw me doing this and explained to me that this was not a good practice. She told me that I could kill the plant by doing this. From that day forward, I only pulled up the weeds. I was also given careful instructions on how to water my plants. I learned how important water was because too much or too little water could also kill the plants. With all this help and attention to my garden, my plants actually began to grow.
I checked my garden every day, hoping to see my first signs of fruit. My plants grew tall and strong and even bloomed but one day it finally happened. I say some fruit. I was so excited I ran back in the house expecting everyone to come help pick my newly found fruit. Once again I was told I must be patient and wait until the fruit grows and ripens before I could pick it.
As I waited, I learned there were many enemies of the garden. I noticed little bugs, birds, and other animals had also taken notice of the new fruit. I also noticed new weeds were popping up every day. I was taught how to maintain and protect my fruit as it grew. Then the day finally came. It was “Harvest Time”. I was thrilled to finally be able to pick and eat my very first fruit. Even as a young child, I was able to reap the harvest of my labor and since that time am still thanking God for His rich blessing.
When was the last time you planted a garden?
I am not talking about an earthly garden but a heavenly one. Where are you tilling the ground? Who is helping you with your spiritual garden? Are you including your church family in your labors? Are you planting seed? You can never expect to reap a harvest if you are not laboring in the field.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Do you have a plan for your garden? How are you caring for the new sprouts that are springing up? Are you patiently waiting for fruit? Are you reaping a harvest? I know the work is hard and we seem to have so little time but Jesus is looking for workers. Will you volunteer or will you mentor another? Listen to the words of Jesus our Lord