Planting season is in full swing in South Florida. Using the lessons learned, I am tearing out the old, sowing the seeds, and praying with hope for a harvest. All while keeping up with renovations and learning to sell online. My writing has suffered because of the time constraints. I have learned when it is time to work the land, something has to give.
7Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, 8because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. 9Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. 10So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith. [Galatians 6:7-10]
My struggles to learn gardening have me thinking about timing. God’s timing seems to be like His seasons. He created day and night, winter and summer, spring and fall, for our pleasure but also for our timing. With these elements, He carved out times of work, growth, and rest. Timing is also a part of the dance I am learning in step with my Lord. It is living life in time with Him.
I found out the hard way that a garden must be planted at the right time, and there are a lot of decisions to make. Did you know about companion planting? I never paid attention to that. Like people, plants will play nice with some plants but not others! Some gardeners refer to this as the plant’s personality.
We all have a group of people we get along with. We call them friends. Then there are others where our personalities clash. It is the same with plants. It is important to know that if I sow cabbage with beans, eggplant, peppers, mustard, tomato or strawberries. The plants will not do well, stunt growth, or even kill each other. Is there someone that irritates you to no end? I know of people I can’t get along with and try to avoid. In these cases we hurt each others growth.
Our timing and placement is as important in life as it is in the garden. Galatians 6:7 states “for a person will reap only what he sows,” If I plant beans I won’t get strawberries no matter how much I want strawberries. I have to plant strawberries to get strawberries. If I want God in my life, why am I sowing discord in my family by gossiping to be included in a conversion? If I really want God to work in my life, I need to be sowing the Spirit. What seeds do I need to plant and tend?
22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]
When I am not focused on God, I do what my “flesh” wants. Not a good thing and gets me in trouble every time! It is like taking the seeds and mixing them altogether, then flinging them out of the container onto the ground. I end up with a big jumbled mess I can’t handle and then I am praying for help! Thankfully, God is always ready to help when I cry out.
The timing requires patience and persistence. It was hard to watch my garden struggle through the summer. Once I understood the timing for my area of the world, I understood I needed to wait for Autumn to sow more seeds, and it was hard to be patient. But now planting season is here, it is time to clean up the garden and get those seeds going while it is still warm. It takes persistence to work in my garden every day. Even on the days my joints flare up and I don’t feel like it. If I persist, my garden will be ready to harvest in November and December. So I get myself up and work in the garden because it is the season of planting.
How do we know the timing of the Lord? We pray for guidance for that day. When we step in to the dance, He leads us in His time. It is setting aside our flesh, being patient and allowing Him to direct the timing one day at a time.
My garden is in containers, so as I learn companion planting, I can place the containers to where they need to be so all the plants are healthy and productive. God also places us where we need to be at the time. For years, I struggled with where I worked. At first, I did not understand that God’s placement. Looking back now, I see how much I grew in my faith. Then, in April He said “Go!” And I was gone in six weeks. Right now He has me at home with family and you in this digital arena.
I have to say; I still want the answers now! Just like I wanted my garden this summer. Look at how well that turned out! But, His timing is perfect and mine is not. This means I take His hand, like a child, and let the Father lead.
Please pray with me,
Heavenly Father, thank you for the lessons learned from my little garden. Help me wait on your timing through prayer and study of Your Words. I am listening and seeking Your path before taking action. When You say “it is time to plant,” help me be diligent and faithful to move in step with You and get the job done. After that, remind me to be faithful and tend the seeds You have entrusted to me. Prepare me to be ready in Your time to gather Your Harvest. Thank you for helping me understand the daily details, opening my heart to You to work in our lives. I love You, Father. All Glory and honor is Yours, for without You I can do nothing. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Amen.
May you be blessed and grow strong today!
Note: All references are from New American Bible Revised Edition