I love the new life that springs forth in the spring and summer seasons. I’ve been an avid gardener for many years, and I enjoy this labor of love in spite of the fact that sometimes I feel that there is little to show for it in the end. I begin the gardening process so enthusiastically every spring. A great deal of sweat equity goes in to our very large gardening plot. My husband and I work to amend the soil with nutrients, and we weed thoroughly before planting. Earlier this year, unlike previous years, my husband even used timber from the property to create lovely raised beds. God even gave us a special blessing by providing us with a free truckload of wood chips from a downed tree in our neighbor’s yard! My husband later told me that earlier that same day he had talked to the Lord about needing to find an affordable source of wood chips for the garden. This answer to prayer reminded me of the words in Matthew when Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given you: seek and ye shall find: knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7 ESV). God pays attention to all the details. He just wants us to remember that when we talk to Him, He hears and answers.
Inevitably, I have the same recurring problem with my garden every year. Despite the preparation of the soil, the planting of seeds, and the unexpected blessings we often receive, by late July, or early August, I have so many weeds I get overwhelmed. Because our large garden resides on a piece of property that we do not yet occupy full time, our time in the garden is limited to weekends and an occasional weekday. We garden by faith. We trust God to send the needed amount of rain to water it regularly, and to protect our crop from all the hungry animals that challenge the strength of the surrounding fence! We do our part, then we have no choice but to trust God with the rest!
Somehow, every year we have faithfully been provided with an abundant crop of fresh beautiful vegetables. The return is always much more than we need, or can use. This enables us to eat abundantly, share with others, freeze, can, and even feed the persistent and uninvited woodchucks that take up residence on our property every year. God is faithful.
I can vividly recall an experience I had in late summer, about two years ago. It had been a particularly exasperating summer as our twin teenagers were going through a challenging adolescent phase accompanied by the growing pains that often come with these changes. It was a challenge for everyone in the family as we had not tread these waters before. One evening as I prepared to make dinner, I looked out over the garden. It was such a mess that if you just glanced at it from a distance, you could easily mistake it for an overgrown weed patch. However, I knew we had a variety of greens, squash, string beans and tomatoes hiding somewhere in that jungle of weeds. After all, we had worked hard, and planted the seeds in well prepared soil. I ventured into the garden to find whatever I could. To my surprise, despite the appearance and reality of all the weeds, I was able to harvest a huge garbage bag full of various beautiful vegetables! It was so much more than I had expected. I just had to look past the weeds. When I brought everything inside and began cooking dinner, emotion overtook me as God spoke to my heart and reminded me of His faithfulness. His word says in Galatians 6:7 that we reap what we sow. It is a natural law of life. When we do our part, God does His part. Greater still was the reminder that as Godly parents, we are responsible for sowing the seeds in our children. Even with the weeds that may sprout, we will see the precious fruit from the seeds that are sown. God’s word promises it.
Call to Action: Prayerful Promises in God's Word
My husband and I have prayed for our children faithfully every single day from the time I was seven weeks pregnant. We intentionally practiced and believed the words in Deuteronomy 6:7-8. But, inevitably weeds have crept into the lives of our children over the years. However, God assured me that just as I was able to harvest an abundance of vegetation from my garden, despite the weeds, this same reality will surely unfold with our precious children according to Proverbs 22:6. God’s word will not return unto Himself void (Isaiah 55:11). I take great encouragement from that beautiful object lesson that took place on a hot summer day a few years ago. As I began the gardening process earlier this spring, I looked forward to the delicious vegetables that would come. But, more importantly, I have seen and continue to look forward to the harvest of God’s word manifested as a result of prayer and faith in God.