Friday, June 9, 2017

You didn't plant that?

by Victoria Duerstock

 Life lessons abound in a variety of places.  I've spent some time over the last couple years looking at trends and writing about life lessons. Many of our experiences in this life lead to lessons learned and practical applications for the future. What seems to be a simple day, game, or training becomes an opportunity to learn something deeper that helps us to grow as individuals.

I recently had such an experience as it relates to my home garden.  Each year I tend to plant a little something in the spring, usually a combination of flowers, vegetables and greenery.  Some years I plant more than others, and sometimes the garden is planted directly in the ground and sometimes in pots on the deck.  I've decided I prefer using pots on the much easier to control weeds really.


This year was different though.  I had a very busy spring and as much as I enjoy planting and playing in the dirt, I ended up with no time to plant.  So strangely after returning from a recent conference, I went outside to discover some things growing in my pots.  

One pot has an assortment of weeds, a strange mix to be sure.  

I was reminded how the weeds grow up in our own lives occasionally. Weeds of bitterness and other sins:

Hebrews 12:15 - See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

Gal. 5:19-21 - Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries,
dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. 

A constant awareness of the weeds will remind us that we need to be in the habit of regular maintenance. In our spiritual lives this needs to be done regularly to keep these things out of our lives with a spirit of repentance.  Keeping short accounts with the Lord will allow us to continue to maintain growth. 

But here's the rest of the story! I have two pots that are growing tomato plants which have not only flowered, but already have fruit!  They look healthy and are growing well, although I have done no watering, no fertilizing, and I DIDN'T PLANT ANY TOMATOES! 

I brought my husband out and showed him the plants the other day.  After he responded that they were looking good, I told him that I hadn't planted any tomatoes. His shocked response simple "You didn't plant that?"

How's that possible? Well, I am assuming that sometime last year seeds dropped from some tomatoes that had ripened too fast, or that fell for whatever reason into the dirt and this year the seed germinated and grew.  No good reason for it at all other than, that's how God designed plants.

My take away and life lesson here once again was in reference to our Christian lives.

I actually have two - the first was that any good "crops" or "fruit" in my life has nothing whatsoever to do with me.  His grace at work in my life by the power of the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit.  I definitely didn't plant that!

Secondly, we have no idea what part we play in the process of making disciples for the kingdom.  I might plant seeds and work hard for many years only to see no fruit from my labor.  Or maybe I'm the waterer or am responsible for the fertilizing of the precious plants.  Or maybe I get to be there at the end when the fruit appears, and then matures into a fully ripened fruit.  Sometimes I just don't know what my part is in the process. This applies to not only my physical children but also spiritual children.

This is exactly what Paul was teaching in I Corinthians 3.

Friends, we don't know today whether we will plant, water or reap the harvest. We must only stay obedient where He has placed us and rest in God's omnipotence to bless our efforts.  We can pray that God will bless the seeds we have planted, and ask that He helps remain faithful to water, fertilize and harvest when it's time.  Stay the course, be obedient and watch God do the work!


  1. Thank you, a much needed message today - another seed landed where intended by our Father.

    1. So happy to hear that - thank you so much for letting me know! I knew it meant so much to me and I hoped it would mean something to others too. God knows... pray you'll have a blessed weekend!

  2. One of those "weeds" sure did look a lot like mint from here. :) I love the reminder that sometimes we plant, and tend, and harvest; sometimes we plant; sometimes we harvest. In the end. all we can do is follow the leading and prompting of God and trust He's got this!

    1. LOL! It could be although I've never grown mint so I really really didn't plant that ;)

      And's so so easy for me to get caught up in results and lose sight of being obedient. I'm obedient..He does all the rest. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh I love this. What a great metaphor for what the Spirit can do I our lives-- love the "But I didn't plant that". Really enjoyed it and will be thinking on it more.(You know, now that I am in the garden centre business, ALL the gardening/farming metaphors in the Bible just JUMP at me like never before. What richness. )

    1. I love how the Spirit illuminates a truth and how He speaks through His word to our hearts. I agree so many truths related to growth and roots and soil in the Bible! It is so personal and rich isn't it! Thank you for reading and I pray God continues to bless you!


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