My father’s father was a gardener. When I was very small, his garden was a good acre in size. He plowed, dug, buried seeds, watered and tended. I didn’t know then what an arduous and risky business gardening is. What I did know was the quiet joy he seemed to experience in the process of growing things.
He grew so many things: corn, beans, peas, cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, watermelons, and a host of other delights that filled the pantries of family members and friends. I spent many an hour with a bowl in my lap shelling peas or shucking corn and many a hot Summer afternoon eating watermelon with my cousins and rising to the challenge of who could spit the seeds the furthest, and Granny’s Sunday lunch buffet almost always included home-grown produce. Indeed, we all enjoyed the fruit of granddaddy’s labor.
I learned in those growing-up years that growing things takes time. It’s a process. And today, in our fast-paced drive-through lives, it is good to be reminded that some really good things take time to grow.
It takes time to make a home, build a friendship, establish a career, raise a family. All the good stuff usually takes a great deal of time, thought, care and energy, and yes, sometimes even blood, sweat, and tears.
I find I need to slow down and relish the intentional process of tending to the things that are truly important. One day at a time, one phone call at a time, one conversation at a time, one smile at a time, one slow walk down a shaded lane, and one prayer at a time…our life together in God’s family unfolds and bears fruit like a garden.
I don’t want to be in such a hurry to put that sliced and salted tomato on the kitchen table that I miss the hot sunny days and rainy afternoons that are necessary to make it grow. I know this may be over-simplifying our very complicated lives, but I really do want to enjoy growing up. And yes, I am still growing up. You are, too.
We are growing, and we are changing. In every moment of prayer, in every hour of breathing in the Word of God, in every encounter with another person, we are growing up into what God intended us to be. At least that is our hope. Sometimes there are storms that batter the tender reeds, and sometimes there are relationships that crash and burn, but through it all our Father in heaven is tending and pruning and harvesting for His good pleasure.
This week, dear reader, take time to tend to your faith. Faith in God is the firm foundation on which we stand. Faith in His trustworthy character is the substance of who we are in Christ, and faith in His amazing grace is the evidence of His great love.
Until next week, fellow so-journer, tend to what matters most: your relationship with Christ, our beloved Savior.