It’s hard to believe that three months ago, I began the “great adventure” of container gardening. Okay, maybe it’s not a great adventure, but it has been a new adventure.
Okay, maybe it’s not an adventure. But, it is an experience.
The results: most of the plants that came up from seed have survived. The green onions withered the day after they broke through the surface of the soil. The place I set them was too hot for the delicate seedlings. Lesson learned.
The zucchini have contracted something—fungus?—that’s tried to destroy each of the four plants. A few zucchini died on the vine, but others have begun to grow. I think some will be ready to harvest in the next couple weeks.
And the tomatoes? The seedlings outgrew the tomato guards I placed around them. It’s taken time, care, sunlight and lots of water to get them to where they’re producing fruit. We’ve eaten a few of the ripened cherry tomatoes, and the wait has been worth it! Who knew it takes heirloom tomatoes over a month on the vine to grow and ripen? Still waiting on that taste sensation.
The flowers have bloomed in bright colors and made my heart sigh with contentment.
There’s something about caring for plants. I’m still trying to help my zucchinis survive. If they die, I’ll feel I’ve failed them somehow. The tomatoes require much more water than I realized. This isn’t a problem, it’s just a reality I learned by almost losing them.
As I’ve cared for these plants which will in turn yield sustenance for our family, I’m discovering similarities to my walk with God.
When I began the garden, I naively thought all I would have to do was water the plants each day, and they would simply grow.
I never considered the reality that some of my plants might get “sick.”
Don’t we sometimes undertake our walk with the Lord with the naive thought, “I’ve got Jesus on my side now. Nothing can go wrong.” By “nothing,” we tend to mean, everything will be smooth going from that point on.
But, that’s not how the Lord works. He allows trials into our lives for a number of reasons. Sometimes we wilt when we don’t receive enough water into the soil of our hearts. We become discouraged if we don’t get our daily dousing of God’s word to refresh us.
We may be doing everything right in our walk with the Lord, yet He still allows fungus in the form of illness or even tragedy into our lives. Does it mean He loves us less than someone else because we are the ones He chose to allow to suffer?
The truth is, as we walk alongside the Lord, bad things still happen. Fruit on the vines of our lives sometimes withers from illness. Our leaves may become infected with some sort of fungus that weakens our physical bodies.
His love for us doesn’t change, just because difficult seasons come. We can trust in the truth of His word, in the steadiness of His character. If we lean into Him, believing the truth of who He is—if we choose to depend on Him anyway—God is able to produce healthy, beautiful blooms and fruit in the aftermath of the trials.
I’ve had to ask lots of questions about how to best care for my “garden.” I’m doing my best to take good care of my plants. The great thing about God is that He knows exactly what we need. And, He gives it at just the right time.
We are on a great adventure when we invite God to walk with us—lead us—through this life. And He knows how to care for us each step of the way.
What about you? What great adventures have you undertaken? What fruit have you seen God produce in your life as a result of trials?