So, I’m sitting here browsing some new seed catalogs that came in the mail. Oddly, ice is pelting down outside. Those tiny seeds, advertised by beautiful, full-grown, mature plants. The photos are stunning and give me pause; I’m looking into my heart wondering just how much more I’m willing to put in – to be God’s fertile ground for a miracle. We all have these moments, some last longer than others. And I don’t mean getting the miracle, but being living proof of it.
It’s a question we need to keep asking; how much we’re willing to go through and still do what it takes, to keep our smile genuine – to give others hope.
A garden, a beautiful one, can be back-breaking, sweat-pouring work. There’s disappointment when some “plants” don’t make it. And the high-maintenance need for consistent, unending watering, pruning, bug-plucking and weeding can seem overwhelming. There’s moments every spring when I literally want to mow my new garden down and just throw it all away, fling my tools and walk into my house. Solomon and David both said it well…
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning!
You know, it’s not about the first cut of flowers that graces the dining table, or even the first ripe tomato warm off the vine. They’re rewarding, but it’s more-so about enduring, having something that catches the eye of passerby to stop and ask how you did it. It’s the beautiful breakthrough at the end of summer right before the season is over, that blink of time after what felt like eons of work, that makes others want to try.
They see something beautiful instead. Instead of the blisters that smarted when shaking your hand to ask what makes your garden grow.
The reward seems small, short-lived but is somehow deep and life-changing. It’s about having light in our eyes that matches the coordinating smile, nomatter how hot the sun was the day we weeded or watched a favorite whatever die.
That’s being the miracle instead of just receiving one.
That’s being hope. How much are we willing to give, to walk through, to sacrifice and not give up to be that lifeline of encouragement? Will we someday hear the words, “because of you, I didn’t give up”? Can we grow beyond always wanting the miracle into willingness to be it too…