A few weeks ago, we planted our annual vegetable garden. It’s so fun to see the little plants sprouting up where seeds were sown. It’s encouraging to see the developing leaves reach up to the warmth of the sun. At this point, it’s hard to visualize the fully-grown squashes and tomatoes, beans and leafy greens that will come as the growing season progresses. We just know that they will.
Isn’t this a mirror image of how we progress in the Kingdom of God? From a tiny seed, Jesus cultivates a mature, fruit bearing adult. If we were instantly given all the knowledge of the Word, all the grace and all the wisdom of God without growing into it, we would collapse and wither under the weight. We would burn up from over feeding and watering. No matter how good the soil is, the plant has a heavenly perfected progression of growth. God has more grace for us. We gently progress in this adventure of faith. The main core becomes strong and steady. Leaves sprout to receive the light of the Son. Branches of holiness and redemption form. Restoration and righteousness develop. Soon fruit matures as our faith ripens by the watering of the Word and the Spirit. As the growing season winds down and comes to an end, a bountiful harvest of spiritual gifts, wisdom and understanding blesses us and those around us. The Body of Christ is edified; each one reaching out to bless another. When the season is finally finished and the winds of autumn gently tiptoe in, we begin another. Perhaps a short season of rest, a time of focused worship or a new assignment. Whatever it is, it is a different season of revelation of the goodness of God. In this new season, we find ourselves more equipped, wiser and able to grasp the heart of God in a new way as we move higher and higher. We can take comfort in knowing that after this, another new growing season will come again and again.
Thankfully, we are never without a season, and all our seasons perfect us in all the mighty facets of God’s love for us. The hearts of stone transform to hearts of flesh, our spirits are restored, our obedience is refined, our minds are renewed.
God is always at work in us, the learning never stops, the grace never stops. The watering and feeding and careful cultivation of our spirits is in the hands of the master gardener. Shalom.