Eight months ago, Nick Vujicic shared God’s word and his testimony during the Unstoppable conference at our church. I will never forget that time because it was a humbling experience for me. Before he ended his talk, he challenged the participants to grow more in their walk with God. And by God’s grace, I took the challenge and surrendered my heart again to Jesus.
On our way home, God randomly encouraged me to plant an actual seed and make it grow. At that time, I realized that God was supporting my desire to grow in my walk with Him and He wanted me to constantly be reminded of it through gardening.
And so, the next day, I bought a new pot, a bag of loose soil, broccoli seeds and I started planting my first vegetable. After watering the two seeds for 10 days, two tiny Broccoli leaves grew and I couldn’t believe my eyes! I loved it! Because I enjoyed the experience so much, I decided to buy another pot, another bag of soil, and a pack of cherry tomato seeds.
I really thank God for the privilege of gardening. He has been gracious in keeping them alive and well since day one and I am always in awe of how He is able to create such beautiful things and make them grow and bear fruit.
I’d like to share with you some of the valuable lessons I’ve learned since I started planting the Broccoli and Cherry Tomato seeds:
FIRST: God makes things Grow in His Perfect Time.
I read in various websites that we can harvest Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes after two months. However, in my case, I was only able to harvest the tomatoes after seven and a half months and I’m still waiting for my broccoli plants to produce their heads.
It might have been ‘discouraging’ for me to see them grow slowly, but through this, I am reminded by God that He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. So, if He thinks it’s best for the tomatoes or broccoli to grow and bear fruit immediately, He can and will allow it to happen.
In the same way, there are certain areas in my life where I feel like I’m not growing or progressing as fast as I want to. But, despite this, I am encouraged to trust that God knows best; that He is constantly at work in my life; and that He will allow me to grow into the woman that He wants me to be in His perfect time.
Ephesians 3:20 says: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
SECOND: Growth Requires Discipline and Perseverance.
For the past eight months, I’ve done my best to regularly water the plants. However, I do remember instances (especially at night) when I would deliberately choose to ignore my responsibility and do other things like: sleeping or watching TV series or surfing the internet or sleeping (again). And sadly, when I don’t practice the discipline of watering the plants, giving them fertilizer, and taking out the weeds (which hinder their growth), I end up having unhealthy and unhappy plants.
John Maxwell once said “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”
By God’s grace, He has been showing me the importance of discipline and perseverance not only in gardening, but also in my day-to-day activities. If I want to grow in my walk with God, then I must be willing to regularly spend time with Him in prayer and by reading/studying the Bible. I must also learn to constantly remove and let go of the things that hinder me from knowing and loving Him more. In the same way, if I want to grow in my workplace and ministry, I must be willing to go the extra mile and give my best even in the small tasks that I have.
THIRD: Support from Others Help Sustain Growth
I noticed that the main stalk of the Cherry Tomato plant started to bend after five months. When I saw it, I panicked because I didn’t want it to snap! So, I tied a number of sticks to the stalk using some of our straw and thankfully, it stood still. Also, my mom willingly helped me maintain the support system and my brothers also helped me get rid of the weeds that were surrounding the plants.
I realized that having a support system definitely encourages and sustains growth. Just like the main stalk, sooner or later, we might also ‘bend’ when we experience difficult situations. But, when we keep ourselves closely accountable and open to others who willingly support and help us, we can actually learn and grow even more.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Special thanks to my parents and siblings, who cheerfully support and encourage me whenever I take care of the plants.
I already harvested red cherry tomatoes yesterday and I might harvest more tomorrow. Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful experience of growing our own vegetables at home. But more than that, I thank You for constantly encouraging me to grow in my walk with You.
See you soon, Broccoli!! :)
Encourage yourself one treat at a time.