We got us a right fine garden here at the church. Mac and the others have been tending to it for about a month now. I’ve never had a garden at home, but I sure admire people who do. It takes a lot to grow one. Knowledge, energy, and a tolerance for critter bites and sore backs.
And there’s a funny thing about gardens. I’m no expert, but I’ve noticed they don’t just grow stuff overnight. It takes time for all that produce to be ready to harvest. So, as important as all the other things are you need, patience heads up the list.
Gardens sure can teach you a lot about life. You do your part. You plant, you make sure the top soil is good, you dig it up so there’s oxygen in it. You pull the weeds, making sure there’s enough space between the plants, have good irrigation, and likely other things I’m not even aware of.
But then, you let it go. You have to let it go. Because the earth, the weather, the sun, they all do their part that have nothing to do with anything you can do. It’s always such a miracle to me, how the seed actually becomes a plant. How you can start with a seed that weighs a gram, and end up with a half bushel full of produce. It’s a great mystery. We plant, but something else grows it.
Jesus had something to say this. “This is what the Kingdom of God is like: a man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself, the soil produces.” Mark 4:26-29
Knowing that lifts a burden. Because, we all plant seeds, in a lot of different ways. And it can be hard to be patient while we wait for the seeds to grow.
Raising kids, that’s all about planting seeds, isn’t it? You do what you can when they’re young, you do your best to give them what they need. Then when they reach a certain age, you let them go, that’s all you can do. You have done what you can do, the seed has been planted. And you hope that they will grow into beautiful beings that will bear fruit that will make the world a better place. And if you’re honest, there are seasons where you think they’re never going to get out of the weed patch. And you think “what can I do?”
Be patient, Jesus said, it’s in hands greater than you own. You just make sure you get the seed into the soil.
Think about the relationships we have with the people we work with. Being kind and generous to co-workers may not pay off right away. You may not see the results now, or tomorrow, but a seed is planted. And so it’s in God’s hands. And you wait in a spirit of patience.
Here at First Pres church, we contribute where we can. We try to be generous, with our time, our spirit, our money. You do what you can, that’s all God expects. Then, you leave the growing up to God. And you find patience, knowing that there is nothing impossible for God.
If we can see this truth, then there is no act of planting a good seed that can ever be in vain. It’s in God’s hands.
People talk about miracles. And not just in Christian circles. I want a miracle in my life. I need a miracle. I’m waiting for a miracle. Problem is, we have this idea of miracles happening in the blink of an eye. That’s often precisely how we define “miracle”: one minute, she was dying, the next minute, she is healed. It’s a miracle.
Some of us here today are in a difficult, uncertain time. Maybe a broken relationship, or depression, or loneliness, or, worry about the future. You know the weights you carry. And you’re waiting for the seed you’ve planted to sprout into a wonderful new thing. And you’re waiting for a miracle.
Jesus’ message to you is this: “Trust God and listen to God’s voice. God’s voice is with you, in the Bible, in prayer, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and in the fellowship of people of this faith around you. Trust that, and then believe that there is a process of growth happening with in you, and that in God’s time God will see it to its full harvest. You don’t know how, but the seed will sprout and grow”.
How can you be sure? Well, swing by our church garden sometime this summer and see for yourself. What more proof do you need?