Random Life Lessons in the Garden

It never ceases to amaze me how God can use the smallest of things to make a point and teach us something. He did that this morning to me using my garden. I don’t have a huge garden, just a few pepper and tomato plants, strawberries, and rhubarb. I planted the tomatoes and peppers right around Mother’s day, and watered them in all nice, had mixed a bag of peat moss in with the soil, put down fertilizer, all that good stuff. It wasn’t too hot, they got good sun in the afternoon but not so much that they would roast or anything like that. In other words, I did everything right. But, the plants started to die. The leaves turned yellow, then brown, and fell off. I didn’t know what to do, it really frustrated me. But then, I got really busy, getting sent here and there with work, KidZone and That Sunday Night thing working with the kids at church, gaming online and hanging out with my friends, and forgot about my garden. The garden seemed like it was getting worse, and weeds started growing up among the plants. I thought about pulling them all out (including the tomatoes and peppers,) but didn’t get around to it. A few weeks ago I went to pull everything out, and the plants were doing great! They were getting bigger, had blooms on them, and were getting leaves again! So I just pulled out the weeds and watered them thoroughly. This morning as I was doing my “chores” (I have the day off from work “just because,”) I went out to pull the few new weeds that were sprouting up, and noticed how well they were doing. I even have tiny little peppers starting to grow (they’re so cute! :P) And as I was pulling, the thing that I realized was that I didn’t do anything to make it happen. In fact, I had come close to preventing this from happening if I had given up and pulled the plants out. But, by leaving the situation alone, and not trying to “help it” by trying to fertilize and water more and all that, things got better.

As most of you know, I’m really good at trying to “help the situation,” especially when it involves people I care about. But, sometimes by trying to help out, I make things worse than if I had just left it alone and let God do His thing in His timing, and waiting on Him to let me know when and how to help out. We aren’t meant to live a life without trouble and without pain, and sometimes by trying to free someone from what they’re going through, to keep them from experiencing pain or bring them out of it, we rob God of a powerful teaching moment in their lives. I’m not saying that we’re never supposed to help someone out, because that isn’t scriptural either. But, we do need to have a heart that is sensitive to God’s Voice and to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit as to when, and how, we are supposed to be involved. And even if we aren’t supposed to help by physically doing something, we can always help by praying :o)

Sometimes, we have to lay off for just a while; if I had let things keep going in my garden, even though the plants were doing better, if I hadn’t weeded it, they would have eventually been choked out by the weeds that grew taller and taller, and all the progress that had been made would have been lost. In the same way, there may be a certain point where we need to step into someone else’s life to do or say something. When that is to happen though, is fully up to God’s determination by His infinite knowledge of the person, their life, their situation, and their future. And, His infinite knowledge of us, of our life, our situation, and our future. Because, there might be something we need to go through first before we can help them out. We just have to listen to Him for the right moment.