In His time

Our one flower this summer

Our one flower this summer

Just recently, our first potted flower bloomed.

For almost three months, we had been waiting. Every day, we inspected each pot for signs of color and growth.

Blooms take awhile.

This spring we planted four different flower pots. Within a week, little green shoots broke through the dirt to meet the sun, and we cheered! We wanted as many flowers as possible to brighten our walkway.

We waited, and waited and waited.

Growth was painfully slow. The plants in three of the pots had steady progress and leaves began to form. One pot had a few clover-like pokes, but never flourished. The flowers never showed.

My son took ownership of watering the plants and feeding the dog this summer, and one morning he raced into the house yelling for us all to come outside because something amazing had happened. We threw on our flip flops and followed him out to be greeted by one tiny, beautiful purple flower.

Whenever we invest ourselves in a project, or ministry, or person, we almost always have expectations. We want the reward of seeing success, that there was a reason we gave our time and energy. We often serve with strings attached. It’s frustrating when we give, and give, and give, and nothing happens. No change takes place. We don’t see what’s below the surface. We wait. And when the results never turn up or languish in the hot sun, we become disappointed and even disillusioned. We wonder why we even wasted our time.

As we have been waiting on the flowers to show up, God has also been giving me opportunities to wait on Him for growth. He is bringing me through circumstances where I am frustrated and tempted to bail. There are moments when I don’t like to exercise patience and frankly don’t want to learn the greater lesson. Yet, obedience is always more important than results. Because the results aren’t up to me anyway. God always has a purpose. He WILL make a way (even if it’s not my way).

So, I wait. I trust. I must let go of me in order to become more like Christ.

Whatever Jesus plants will always grow. And He has planted His seed of salvation in my heart. I am His. God promised me that He would finish what He started.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
– Philippians 1:6 (AMP)

One day, the flowers will bloom, if not in the pots in my yard, in the soil of my heart.

Thankful: God is the sower

Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.

– Mark 4:3-8

Today, I am thankful that God is the sower, and sows His Word on every soil.

Seed is valuable. It contains the ability to produce new life. Because most farmers want to produce a top-notch harvest, they will concentrate sowing the seed in good soil, so that it has the best chance to grow healthy and strong crops.

In this parable, recorded in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8, the seed is sowed in many different types of soil. Some falls on the hard road, easily picked up by birds. Other seed falls on rocky ground, where¬†some of the shoots don’t have much roots to grow and the sun damages the plants. Some seed falls among thorns that choke out the growth. And finally, the seed lands in good soil and the harvest multiplies.

Why would the sower even waste his time sowing in unproductive ground?

God is the sower, and we as His children are called to follow in His footsteps and sow His Word over hearts. Some hearts are hard, some are rocky, some are full of thorns, and some are tender and ready to receive. God deeply loves each heart, each person, and sends His Word out regardless of the soil.

God isn’t wasteful, and His love isn’t pointless. He sows so that everyone has the opportunity to respond to His grace. His death on the cross was for every person. His message of hope and salvation is for all the world. And so He sends His Word to each soil, so everyone can know Him.

Soil can change, ground plowed up, rocks removed and thorns cut down. The seed still remains. God’s love endures.

God cares about each heart, and so should we. Our job isn’t to judge the soil, it is to spread the seed.