Monday, April 11, 2016

Plant Life (Analogies)

I love analogies. They help us understand deep and difficult concepts, they help us accept hard truths, and they make simple what is complicated. Jesus used them. The greatest authors used them. The greatest speakers use them. And I have been influenced greatly by them. I'm pretty sure I think in analogies.

So last month when we planted our garden seeds, and as I have watched them grow since, I haven't been able to help but think of the analogies that go with them. 

The lettuce and kale popped up first, just two days after they were planted. At this point, I had to be careful in watering the seeds. I told my girls that they were just like babies. We had to be careful around them. Careful not to knock them, careful not to give them too much water, careful to keep an eye on them to see how they were doing. After the lettuce and kale, others began popping up in that next week: cucumbers, lamb's ear, broccoli, tomatoes. But it seemed like the peppers were good for nothing. While all the others had sprouted and continued to grow, the peppers didn't exist. And finally, two weeks after planting, the tiny little green shoot of the pepper plant appeared!

It's just like us, huh? We grow at different rates. Sometimes, quite frankly, people seem hopeless. But it's so encouraging to remember that the Lord is doing work even when we can't see it. Those peppers were growing before I knew it. The Lord was doing work under the surface. But I just couldn't see it. It's hard when we can't see the work. Whether in ourselves or in others. I become discouraged, frustrated, angry, annoyed, and hopeless. So often I feel these emotions towards my kids and my husband because I want them to be the lettuce and kale that grows immediately. I want them to respond as soon as I plant the seed. But guess what? My lettuce and kale are actually doing the worst now. Half of them have withered up, and I'm not really sure if they're going to make it at all. So often I want people in my life to be like my cucumber plants that shot right up and are more than twice the size of my other plants. I was really proud of them. But guess what I realized? I planted them too early. Technically, they should be transplanted outside this week, but I can't because we (most likely) haven't received our last frost of the season. So I'm not sure what's going to happen to them, but most likely, they won't make it and I'll have to plant new ones. Because I planted them too early instead of waiting to plant until the proper and best time. Hm. I know I am quick to get excited when I see the exact results I'm hoping for, and I know I sometimes speak too soon or too much or shove truth down throats because early always feels best. Now always seems like the best time. But sometimes it's not. Sometimes best is waiting, because the Lord's timing is best, and he can make something or someone grow faster and better by just waiting until the proper time to plant.

So I look at these little seeds that we planted weeks ago...

And I see what they are today...

And they make me stop to reflect life. To slow down, to trust the process, to have faith, to remember that we are all growing at different speeds and in different ways, and that's because our produce is different. Tomatoes grow differently than cucumbers because they are tomatoes. They taste different, look different, and serve a different purpose. Cucumbers might grow faster, but they will never give us pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce or ketchup. And it would be a bummer of a world without those things.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. Soo much. I have these thoughts every spring when the first tree blooms, and I look at it with wonder and thanksgiving (but never with anger that all the other trees aren't blooming yet). And again in the fall when the first tree loses its leaves, again thankful that it starts one-by-one, and it isn't just a mass exodus of leaves all within one week but that we get to experience its gradually fading beauty. Sigh. This was a beautiful read, thanks, Alisha!