“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
This Saturday, March 20, is the vernal equinox…more commonly regarded as the first day of spring.
Anyone ready to celebrate?!? I am. I’m pumped by declining pandemic statistics (thank you, vaccine producers), the return of warmer temps, and the promise of a better year ahead.
All of that makes me antsy to go digging in the dirt. Problem is, I’m a terrible gardener. I have no legitimate expectations of a fruitful harvest in summer. But that fact rarely dissuades me from planting a plethora of herbs, veggies, and flowers in a small plot outside our back window. Hope springs eternal.
My daughter, on the other hand, has inherited my husband’s gift for gardening. And she’s putting it to good use.
Elizabeth heard about churches handing out bags of dirt instead of ashes on Ash Wednesday, encouraging people to use the season of Lent as a time to plant. The concept was born out of a desire to move forward after a year of sorrow and loss with COVID.
So, my daughter took that idea and ran with it…ordering a thousand seeds online in ten different varieties: eggplant, beets, Swiss chard, jalapeño peppers, cucumbers, Cherokee purple tomatoes (an awesome variety), snacking tomatoes, green onions, okra, half-runner beans. Yum. Bring on the salad dressing.
Since Elizabeth lives in Indiana, her growing season will begin a bit later than ours in east Tennessee. In the meantime, she’s getting started using planting trays with tiny dirt-cubes. Her mission? To keep some for her own backyard garden and give the rest away in peat pots to friends.
“It’s movement,” she says. “It’s change…tangible progress toward something. I can watch them growing here in my living room while waiting for the pandemic to finally be over.”
What a great thought to ponder as we prepare for Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Planting seeds. Watching for the seedlings. Awaiting the new life. Preparing for growth and fruit.
If your spiritual life has gone through a stale winter season, this is a good time to reassess the garden plot in your heart. Turn over the dirt a bit by shifting your priorities. Root out the weeds…pet sins you’ve harbored too long or fruitless activities. Plant seeds from God’s word, watered liberally by the Holy Spirit.
Let the lengthening sunshine point you to the Light of the World. Let Him do His work in you as the Master Gardener, preparing you for His great mission and fruitfulness.
Jesus, how glad we are to see the return of spring and its promise of beauty. Let us rejoice in Your goodness, rest in Your strength, and be renewed by Your word. Plow our hearts, and ready us to be fruitful servants for You. In Your powerful name, Amen.
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