Sometimes we don’t know what we are growing until the face of the thing pokes up from the dark soil of life. All these seasons of being the plow—breaking up these hard clods and preparing a soft bed to receive each seed’s breaking open. We pray over these seeds and sing to these seeds and sometimes we cover them in manure. We coax and implore. And we don’t know. Until they reach up from their roots and poke sleepy faces up through all the seasons of preparation and we glimpse what might be. And still, these tender shoots might look like something completely different in a few short weeks.
There are the days and weeks of pulling up weeds, picking out rocks and speaking tenderly to what lies in mystery underneath that loamy surface. There are the seasons of straining eyes and ears for some sign—some tiny hint of the stretching and growing toward the light. And when the moment comes—when the first pointed finger of growth slips quietly up through the carefully tilled earth…oh, how we rejoice.
In the end we know that this garden we tend is in Greater Hands than ours. We water and cover the new green when the frost comes and still there is always a chance that some creature might come in the night…an unseen threat to all we’ve nurtured and longed for. In the end we know there is only One who makes the tender growth of the seedling come to bear fruit. The One who sets the sun to shine, the One who pours the rains from heaven’s unseen stores.
And yet, this Great Gardener allows us this privilege of tending, this joy of working alongside in the planting. There is greater joy in knowing that I sprout up from this same soil…there is this same dirt under my skin and fingernails. Some days, in the tending, I feel my roots tangle up in theirs and this straining toward the light feels less lonely.
And this is faith, this cultivating of each other that we do…this waiting and watching together. These root tendrils wiggle their toes in the rich soil of love and they reach out—spanning miles of earth and under seas and over mountains. These roots long to join with other roots to give and take nourishment where needed.
Because we are stronger together.
Sometimes we don’t know what we are growing until the face of the thing pokes up from the dark soil of life. All these seasons of being the plow…sometimes we see glimpses of the harvest that is to come. These little moments of beauty set me on fire with longing.
Anticipation is a glorious thing.
Over at The High Calling today, I'm talking about a book that is helping me to be a better plow. Join me?
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us: