Friday, April 30, 2010
Sowing and Reaping
This time of year we do a lot of thinking about our garden. What do we want to plant? How many rows or plants of each vegetable? Is there anything we planted last year that we aren't going to plant this year? In case you can't tell, we really put a lot of thought into our garden. We love eating fresh vegetables and we do a lot of canning. We are always trying a new variety of tomato, or a new kind of corn (yes, for you city folks, there are lots of different varieties of vegetable seeds and plants). The reason we plant is to harvest. It wouldn't be much fun just to plant and not expect that in a couple of months all of our hard work will be worth it when we're canning green beans and freezing corn.
We've had a garden for years and one thing I can tell you is this -- whatever you plant is what comes up. Now that may sound silly but it is a basic fact. You plant corn, you pick ears of corn in a few months. You plant a tomato plant, you get LOTS of red, juicy tomatoes just perfect for our homemade salsa. And yes, I'll share the recipe with you this summer. Never have we planted a vegetable and had another vegetable "mysteriously" grow in its place.
And as sure as I am that what I plant will grow in my garden, I am just as confident that what I plant spiritually grows too. Galatians 6:7 tells us "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Ladies we need to be very careful what we sow because I trust that every word in the Bible is true. I can't pick and choose what I believe. And when it says "for WHATSOEVER a man soweth, that shall he also REAP" that is what it means.
I don't like brussel sprouts. Sorry to all you brussel sprout fans out there, but I don't like 'em, so I don't plant 'em. Same thing with peas. Yuck. So you know what, we don't plant peas. But am I as careful with the garden of my life as I am with the garden in my backyard?? Many times we sow unkind words without even thinking. We sow bitterness and anger. We sow selfishness. And we sow all these things without even realizing that everything we sow will come back to us.
We need to treat everyone we come into contact with like we want to be treated. We need to speak to others how we want to be spoken to. Many times I've snapped at my kids when I wasn't even upset with them. I had just had a bad day and without thinking I was harsh with them. That is a seed sown. And that seed will grow and return to me.
And sowing isn't just in our speech, but in our actions. Are we generous with our time where others are concerned? Do we help others when they need it, or are we too busy in "our world?" Are we giving, and I don't mean just in tithing, although I do believe God expects us to tithe our money? Do we hoard the fruits of our labors, or do we share? Just one example is canning. I can tell you from vast experience that canning is hard work. We work in the garden for months, then we pick all the vegetables, clean then, can them. There's a lot of effort in one jar of green beans, or salsa, or jam. So do I generously share what I've canned with others, or do I think to myself "that's MINE, get your own?"
Today, I am examining my heart for many things. I am asking God to show me where I need some work. How I can be more of a blessing to others. God has been so good to me. And I don't think He blesses me so that I can keep it to myself. He blesses me so that I can be a blessing to everyone that He has brought into my life. My family, my friends, my co-workers -- everyone. My prayer is to be more like Him. And just like I am looking forward to my vegetable gardening giving me a bountiful harvest, I want the garden of my life to be even better. And not because I want good things in my life, but because I want to be obedient to my Father. I want Him to be proud of me and my words and my actions. Lord, help me to be more like You.