published: Sunday, April 26, 2009
Patiently waiting for fruit to grow
My husband, Ken, and I are considering starting a container garden - tomatoes, peppers and zucchini for starters. As the little flowers announce that "fruit" is on the way, I'll delight as it pops out from behind the flower.
That's when the hard work begins. Waiting and watching.
Picking the fruit at the first signs of growth would produce worthless produce. Letting it mature and ripen insures a delicious, juicy treat to sink our teeth into.
Such labor takes time, patience and perseverance.
We don't sit on our hands during the waiting process. We keep the garden with diligence - watchful of pesky pests, weeds and drying soil. We feed the plants and keep them nourished.
In Jesus' day, the language and livelihood of many was agricultural. The people understood the terminology of sowing and reaping. So to explain a heavenly concept, Jesus told the parable of the sower who knew to plant his seed in well-prepared soil.
However, in the planting process, some fell by the wayside, around the rocks, or scattered throughout thorny places. The results varied.
The seed that fell alongside the road was trampled and the birds ate it. Those lost to the rocks sprang up, but withered because they lacked moisture. The thorny ground choked the other seedlings. But...
The seeds sown in the good soil burst forth from the ground yielding a hundredfold.
Applying the good principles of proper sowing habits in a garden can also be exercised in our spiritual lives. God's word (the seed) must penetrate the good soil of our hearts - hearts prepared to hear and apply the truth. And then we must patiently keep our hearts free from attitudes and actions that would hinder our growth.
If not, we'll be like the wayside seed, not having made a commitment and Satan comes and steals away the truth before it is believed. Or, we can be caught in the rocks - receiving the word with joy but lacking a root system and tempted away. If we hear the word and let trials, riches and pleasures choke out the life, those thorns prevent maturity.
"But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience" says Luke 8: 15, NKJV.
"Bear fruit with patience." That is the key. Slow down, be diligent, faithful, persevering and fruitful with God's Word - like good gardeners who know and actualize the principle of sowing and reaping. Selah
Jan Merop of Sebring is a News-Sun correspondent.
Small Banner Ads