How Does Your Garden Grow?
Pastor Ryan - July 10, 2023
Matthew 7: 7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
I have been gardening for 15 years. I have cross pollinated my own plants and crafted a sub-species tailored to my ideal tomato. But ever since I’ve come to the South my tomatoes have struggled with various diseases. The South is a ruthless place because it never gets cold enough to kill all the things that want to kill my tomatoes.
I have bought designer seeds, specifically to thwart disease: fail. I have pruned and planted in advantageous ways: fail. I have sprayed them with hydrogen-peroxide and watered them in meticulous ways to avoid and prevent disease: fail. I have bought special containers and soil and fertilizers: fail, fail, fail.
I still garden. I still get tomatoes, but at some point, the disease wins and I end each season defeated.
Until I moved to Charlotte.
Last year on a hill on my property my daughter found a tomato plant growing, wild, a “volunteer” that I didn’t plant. I was very successful. This year there are two plants growing very successfully. These plants are in terrible soil, they aren’t getting any water from my hose, they aren’t getting enough sunlight, or fertilizer, or scaffolding. And they are, without a doubt, the healthiest, most productive plants I have grown in the South!
We will have an overabundance of cherry tomatoes.
God is like that. The things He has planned aren’t the things we have struggled for. The gifts He is heaping upon us aren't the ones we expected. And here's the difference. The one who looks for the LORD will find Him. Ask for the Lord. Seek the Lord while He may still be found. Knock on the door and it will be open for you.
This is why prayer is so important; it focuses us on where God is in all of this, every day. This is why small groups are so important, because the people we are honest with can see into our lives in ways we might miss. This is why we live a life in Christ because blessings aren’t pickup like a drive through, they are revealed and experienced with mature faith. The LORD is all around.
If my daughter hadn’t been looking, we would have never known that there was a blessing just out of sight on the hillside in the form of a tomato plant. There are blessings, all around, but can you see them? Are you looking? God is with us.