Last spring, my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to plant a garden. We planted squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and all sorts of herbs and flowers. We had high hopes for our fresh blooms.
Unfortunately, when July and August rolled around, we noticed many of our plants dying of dehydration (or too much hydration), lack of sunlight, and pest issues. Some of our plants didn't even take root! We were amazed at how challenging it was to begin and maintain a healthy garden. It was difficult to make something beautiful sprout from a seed.
I think back to the first time we stood in our recently thawed out backyard, holding tiny seeds in our hands. I believe my first plant was a pot of jalapenos. Thinking back to cradling a bunch of "would be jalapenos," the goal was so simple: to plant those seeds so that they would grow into full-bodied, living plants.
The first place we see the word "seed" mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 1:11. "Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so." We also see the word mentioned in Genesis 1:29 "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'"
I think the intentions I had for the seeds in my garden last spring reflect God's intentions for seeds; that they would grow and be healthy, and provide a multitude of blessings for the earth and surrounding creation. How sweet that this first mentioning of seeds was "in the beginning" of time when God created life written about in Genesis, which in a way, mirrors the newness of a new year for us!
Just as a seed grows a small amount each day and slowly turns from a small shell to a green twig and then to a mighty oak, we, too, can blossom each day to look more like our beautiful Creator. This new growth is a process, and it's not always easy. However, we can hold to the hope of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reminds us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 1 Peter 1:23 also says, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and enduring word of God."
As these verses show, if we have accepted Christ, we already have our new identity. That is never going to change. However, to continue growing and sanctifying, we must position ourselves to take root and prosper. What is the hope and the end-goal? It's so beautifully laid out for us in Psalm 1:1-3:
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers."
This is what we want our lives to become! We want to grow to be like healthy, whole, and strong trees with all the living water we need – surrounded by a harvest of righteousness. God has already promised us this as His children, as His heirs according to the promise. How wonderful is that promise!
While God has already given us everything we need to position ourselves as "seeds" to become spiritually healthy, we still have a part to play as we make decisions about how we want to live. How are you feeling about your spiritual life this January as we step into a new year? Are there any changes you would like to make or action steps you'd like to take to grow closer to the Lord? Let's lock arms and take steps to be obedient to let God spur on this cultivation in and through our lives as we grow into our best selves for God's glory and our joy.
What new seeds can you plant today?
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
"Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty and inspiration. Learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time is often just one baby step. Learn to love the doing. Learn the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of effort, we too can accomplish magnificent things."
- The Daffodil Principle