Well, the past couple of weeks have been relatively dry here in Southern Iowa, and the farmers have been going to town to get their crops planted. Garden centers have been popping up and greenhouses are in their prime season. I was finally able to stop at a favorite store this past week and got a nice variety of tomato plants that will hopefully be fruitful in a couple months. Spring is here and the planting season is in full swing. Though the weather is unpredictable, most people take some satisfaction in growing and caring for a garden, a flower bed, or even house plants that help bring the outdoors inside a bit. What things do you most look forward to growing each year?
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7
This year, we had to take down a tree near our house and we tried to transplant cuttings from that tree, so we could replant them a little later. Some have started well, but there are no guarantees they will make it to full grown trees. As with any plants, there are several things against them from drought, to disease, weeds, animals, floods, hail, poor soil, etc. A few years ago, we had a young, healthy apple tree get decimated by a deer in just two days. Most plants (except dandelions) take some protection and nurturing to thrive in most environments. We need to place them in good soil, fertilize, water them when the rain doesn’t come, protecting with an animal fence, and treating when pests or disease threaten. Farming requires some vigilance and lots of faith that all the work and investment produces a good harvest at the end of the season. What things do you recall that have destroyed crops in the past?
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm. Joel 2:25
Just like these plants, raising children and even growing in our own faith takes some nurturing and attention on a regular basis. If left unattended, many different things can make their way in and choke out and even destroy what once was a healthy, thriving person. When we are nurtured by the Word, prayer, and a strong faith community, we can stand strong when the storms of life threaten to destroy us. What have you done to prepare for when the droughts, floods, storms, and pests come into your life? May you stay rooted and connected to Christ when the days are sunny and bright, as well as when the storms arrive, so that you may thrive!
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Yours in Christ,