Sunday, June 28, 2009

Waiting for the Harvest

I've wanted to have my very own garden for years. There's something about planting a seed and watching it grow into a harvest that stirs my soul. I got my wish this year. I've planted my very own vegetable garden here in the Blue Ridge mountains.


I've developed a ritual. Every morning and evening I walk out to evaluate my garden to see what's changed. It all started right after the seeds were planted. I eagerly watched to see if anything had taken root. It wasn’t long before tiny shoots of life emerged from underground. The seeds had germinated, life had begun. Blooms soon appeared as the plants continued to grow.


I've yet to water my garden. It’s been amazing to watch. Every time the garden needs to be watered, God takes care of it for me. We've had some pretty intense storms as of late. The deluge of rain accompanied by strong winds have given me cause to wonder how the plants would fare.


An assessment of my squash one day brought the first disturbance. The pods were dying. The hard rains accompanied by the swift climbing of the heat index had limited air circulation. Online gardeners advised pulling off the rotting fruit, allowing the plants to have a fresh start. After following their instructions, baby squash once again filled the plants. Balance had been restored.


Tomatoes have been on the vine for weeks now. Some days they don't even look like they've changed. Will they ever be ready to pick? Each day I look for signs of harvest. It does a soul good to reap.


I don't know why I am so amazed that things in life correlate with my spirit, but I am. This precious garden represents my heart. I watch and wait to see if the seeds planted inside me have germinated. Will they grow to serve a greater purpose? Will there be a harvest? Will things ever be ripe for the picking? I want things to hurry along. I want the plantings in my heart to bear life that will feed another soul. I grow weary in the waiting.


Sometimes I wonder if I will make it through the storms that come and go. At times I question whether fruit will ever appear out of this quiet season of my life.


How does one hang onto the dreams in their hearts while waiting for the ripening moment, I ask Jesus? Sometimes the dreams seem lost, hidden away. Sometimes I wonder if they were mine or His. Sometimes I lose heart in the waiting moments.


"Have you ever watched an oak tree grow?” He asks.


No, not really.


My curiosity is piqued.


I discovered something. It takes 50 years for an oak tree to birth acorns. Growing from an acorn to an oak that bears life is a process, much of which is not drastically noticeable. It doesn't diminish the facts, there is a seed growing into a tree that will reproduce life.


Waiting is hard. Sometimes it feels like an eternity. Sometimes the mundane tasks of life give the appearance that this is as good as it gets.


“Waiting has it’s purpose, Jewel.”


The story of Joseph speaks so tenderly to my heart and I consider; did he wonder if there was more to life? Did he see the mundane around him? Did he lose his dreams? Did he grow weary of waiting? Did he lose heart?


A ripening moment came for Joseph when he least expected it. One day he woke up to find the end of his confinement. He was released from prison to the 2nd most powerful position in the nation. It was time for the harvest. Waiting had had it’s work.


I see the tomatoes on the vine. I cannot wait to taste them. Yet I know, in the waiting the plant is left to finish it's process. To pick them too early is to lesson their flavor. Hanging on the vine they ripen into a fruit that tantalizes the senses. So I wait.


Life is like that, you know. Resting on the vine, allows the fruit to have it’s ripening moment in me too. One day the waiting will have it’s work. I will emerge an oak of righteousness that displays His splendor.


“Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you might be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

©copyrighted: 2009 Julie L. Todd


16 comments:

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Another beautiful post to which I can relate, dear Julie!

Waiting with patience and with hope, this has been a major theme in my life.

I love how you relate your external circumstances with your heart. Doing that keeps our heart always awake to what the Father, our divine gardener, is doing in our inner garden.

Have a blessed Sunday, dear friend!

Love
Lidj

Daveda said... Reply to comment

I really love this, it spoke to me. It seems twice this morning I have been reminded that "Waiting has its purpose"

If we picked the fruits of our garden before they were ready, and tried to serve them, I think the taste would be a bit sour. I believe we are like this as well, and as hard as it can be to wait, I find myself saying to the Lord, help me to not run ahead, but to stay put until YOU say I am ready.

Great Post!

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

My face is beaming after reading this!

It makes my heart rejoice to think of the great harvest that is coming!!

As I wait, the Lord loves to encourage me through signs and symbols. He has been showing me through many signs and symbols that the harvest is closer than I think.

I had a vision a few months ago that spoke to my heart about harvest. I was standing at the edge of a beautiful corn field that was fully alive and vibrant. One of my feet was planted firmly in between the corn stalks. The other foot was in the dry, barren land. The Lord used this vision to show me it was time to step into the corn field, to leave the dry, barren land behind. Just like the children of Israel, I am entering into the Promised Land never to thirst or hunger again...never to complain again.

He showed me that the number 9 is the number of harvest. There are nine months in a woman's gestation period--then she gives birth, there are 9 fruits of the Spirit, etc.

NINE years ago on Easter weekend, we had a flood in our home which totally ruined the inside of our home. It turned into an amazing blessing though. Our insurance paid for us to have the interior of our home fully renovated. But the outside of our home remained old and in much need of remodeling. It was difficult at times to look at the rotted siding on our house, to look at the ugliness of our aging home.

In April of this year (2009) a tornado came through our neighborhood. It was a fierce storm that uprooted trees, severely damaging homes throughout our street. Just like 9 years ago when the flood brought great blessings, the tornado brought great blessings!

Our insurance paid for us to have the outside of our home fully renovated...new siding, new paint, new garage doors and more.

I know this is a long comment, but there is incredible symbolism in what the Lord has done in my life.

The house is the symbol of LIFE.

Just like our house, God has renovated the inside of us-our hearts. He got rid of the ugliness (pride, self-righteousness, envy, malice and more). Then God graciously restored the outward things in our lives by restoring relationships, healing my broken marriage.

The Lord is AWESOME in the way He does things behind the scenes, in the Spiritual realm, then He does it in the natural so the world can see His GLORY. God has literally given me a NEW house as a powerful symbol of the NEW life He has created for me.

He TRULY makes all things beautiful in His time!

I rejoice greatly with you over your garden and the great harvest that is coming in your life!

Amy

Karen said... Reply to comment

Wonderful analogy!

IMO...there is absolutely nothing as good as a warm, sun ripened, juicy tomato picked straight off the vine and eaten...except maybe crisp, sweet corn that is immediately eaten after picking...definitely worth the wait...even more are the workings of Father God....

Sita said... Reply to comment

Wonderful analogy, Julie...I can certainly relate...beautiful writing...Thank you..
Sita

christy rose said... Reply to comment

Julie,
I love James 1:4--I want to be mature and complete lacking nothing and emerge as an oak of righteousness displaying His splendor. This was great! I loved how you developed this post!
Christy

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Oh, the waiting...

Thanks for reassuring me again of its purpose under heaven. Beautifully written.

Lana Vaughan, Reality Developer said... Reply to comment

How God's heart must delight as you walk together in the garden. Truly you are Resurrection Eve.

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

Amen and amen.

I too grown a garden of vegetables before. I think very similarly and hear the same truths in my heart from God. This year I have only tomatoes and cilantro. Good for homemade salsa. My favorite...

I'm waiting in many ways too.

Also I'm in the middle of rereading the story of Joseph. God ordered. :)

Thank you for reminding me of this truth.

Traveling in a few hours. Pray for our trip to Az.

Love,

T

LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Dearest Sister,

Your words drip with the love that is within your heart for the LORD and as such I'm always encouraged and blessed when I visit.

Thank you for sharing so openly. Love ya.

Laura said... Reply to comment

I love to read the analogy of growing things. I can so relate. Nothing stirs my heart like that first shoot of green through the earth.

Patience, right? Growing is not for sissies.

Marla Taviano said... Reply to comment

Hi, Julie. Thanks for your comment on my site.

Here's a link to the book: http://www.taviano.com/marla/books/is-that-all-he-thinks-about.html

There's a sample chapter you can read if you'd like.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said... Reply to comment

That was just beautiful, Julie.

I dream of having a garden one day...

Billy Coffey said... Reply to comment

Beautiful, Julie!

Patience is so tough sometimes, isn't it?

Carol said... Reply to comment

Thanks for your comment at the Cafe today, Julie. God bless! Carol

Trinity Mommy said... Reply to comment

Thank you for sharing this, it spoke to me this morning! It is such a wonderful reminder that He is in control and harvest is coming!