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