Monday, July 25, 2011

Plowing, planting, planning

Ezekiel 36:9 “I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown”.

Our garden flopped. It’s been a number of years since we attempted to plant a vegetable garden but decided to try it this spring. My husband knows how to grow a garden; his last effort resulted in more vegetables than I knew what to do with. But that was in another place in another time long ago. This year we decided on just a small plot of ground for a few tomato plants, squash, bell peppers, cucumbers and hot peppers.

We plowed, we planted, we fertilized, we watered, and we waited. The plants came up nicely, all but the cucumbers which succumbed to dogs and a resident rabbit. We trellised the tomato plants. The squash bushes did bear fruit until our hail storm. The tomato plants grew and produced tiny tomatoes which never got much bigger. Some ripened but they’ve all been small. It’s been a disappointment over all.
We’ve come to the conclusion that we failed to prepare the soil as we should. There’s always ‘next year’, right?!

In the garden of my life, I wonder if I’ve been a disappointment at times. Scripture gives so many illustrations of gardening, but I love the one from John 15:1 especially: “I am the True Vine and My Father is the gardener.” Consulting with the Master Gardener always pays off. Perhaps my soil needs plowing. That’s not a pleasant thought but gardens must be plowed each season. It’s not that one turning of the soil will do for life.

This morning I ran across this verse from Ezekiel 36 that spoke to me. “I am concerned for you…you will be plowed and sown.” The Lord God, our Gardener cares enough about us to plow us under seasonally. He knows our soil and just what fertilizer it needs to grow the crop He has in mind.
The plowing isn’t fun, unless you’re the one doing it, and not the one being plowed. Reminds me of the poem of Amy Carmichael:

The toad beneath the harrow knows
Exactly where each tooth point goes
The butterfly upon the road
Preaches contentment to that toad.

Father, Gardener of my soul, thank you for plowing and preparing me for what you have prepared for me.

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