Sowing a Seed, Being a Blip

Lettuce seedling_LAH_9671I love to plant seeds. It’s my favorite part of gardening, and I love to garden. I’m constantly amazed that such a small, seemingly lifeless bit of matter can grow into broccoli, marigolds, or zinnias. A quick trip to the garden center would give me instant gratification. I can buy seedlings already well on their way to maturity. I prefer to exercise faith that the seeds will germinate and grow, and eventually produce a crop. And it takes a lot of faith to garden in Colorado.

I’m also a seed planter when it comes to sharing my faith. It’s not as glamorous as harvesting—I can’t name a single person I’ve actually prayed with to receive Jesus. But I can name a number of those who eventually believed, after I was privileged to plant some seeds of faith in the soil of their lives.

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To Everything There is a Season

The green, slimy mass lurched at me from the bottom of the crisper drawer. I fended it off with a dish rag while rescuing the still-edible produce piled on top. Rats. Those green beans (or was it the chard?) looked so great when I bought them—I hated for them to go to waste.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes produce seems to spoil right away, while other times it seems to last a few days in the fridge? To some extent, it’s the nature of that particular vegetable. Some kinds just last longer than others. But that’s not the whole story. I find that produce purchased out of season just doesn’t keep as long, probably because it had so far to go to get here in the first place.

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Pruning for Fruitfulness

I’ve been moping around the house a lot lately, feeling moderately miserable. It’s nothing earth-shattering—nothing that won’t mend in time. I’ve just been feeling a bit of emotional pain.

God’s been after me with a pair of pruning shears.

Yeah, ouch.

As a gardener, I’m very familiar with the whys and wherefores of pruning. Jesus must have been familiar with pruning as well. He uses the analogy a number of times, especially in John 15, when he says: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2, italics mine).

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