It’s August 15th and we are planting a garden. We moved into our house in June, and the hottest part of the summer seems to be passing, so my wife and I are planting a second-season garden. I’ve staked out a 10X20 space in my backyard, and I’ve started piling grass clippings, ash, and such onto it. Around Labor Day, we’ll till it in and plant seeds. We’ve already started tomatoes and peppers inside. And I have a large planter on my back patio where I’ve sown lavender, parsley, mint, dill, and lettuce; everything but the lettuce is up. We have other pots of herbs growing around the house. If all goes well, in early to mid-November, we’ll get beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and possibly even potatoes.
We’re sowing generously. Even though it’s late in the season, some vegetables will produce and some won’t. Even if it doesn’t produce much, it’ll help build the soil for another garden that I’ll till in next February. If all goes well, that garden will get a full season to produce, then we’ll repeat the process come next July. I love doing this, and I sometimes wish I was a farmer instead of a software consultant.
There’s more important seed to sow, though. Planting the seeds of Jesus will produce a much more abundant crop than simply food. Gardening with God’s word is a more imperative use of my time because someone will always be planting vegetables. Not everyone plants Jesus into people, and the season is always scorching hot against life producing a crop.
But that’s what we’re each supposed to do. The one who dies with the most toys doesn’t win. They simply die. The one who dies having spread the word of God widely is rewarded richly by being in full communion forever with Jesus. It isn’t just for our pastors to do even as that’s their primary job. Instead, God intended each of us to be farmers and pastors with His word, sharing it in our own ways for Him to harvest new believers. We’re to work so He can turn rocky ground into rich soil.
What we’re planting is the knowledge of God, how He is both merciful and just, loving and disciplining, faithful and new, Lord and savior of all. That we’re made in His image. We’re sharing Jesus in ways that will cut bone from muscle to tone us up and make us new. God will then make the growth happen and, when the time is right, He will ‘harvest’ believers to be with him forever.
How will you farm today?
For further reading: Proverbs 22:8, Jeremiah 34:17, Hosea 10:12-13, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Hebrews 4:12, Galatians 6:8
Father, thank You for letting me plant the seed of Your Word…and for my garden.
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