(Those) whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who (meditate) on his law day and night… (are) like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:2-3
This year, I ordered my tomato plants from a catalog. Because of our stubborn spring weather here in Minnesota, I was unable to plant them until late May. By then, they were beginning to get “leggy,” with long stalks below spindly little leaves. I knew just the solution: I planted the tomato’s “toes” deep into the soil, burying the stalk up to the first set of leaves. A tomato planted this way will quickly develop roots along the buried stalk, ensuring that the tomato plant will flourish and become bushy. My tomato harvest will be delicious, and I await the appearance of those bright red orbs with salt shaker in hand.
As the true Master Gardener, God knows just how each of us must be “planted” to flourish and produce for His kingdom. Like my tomatoes, some of us may be “leggy,” having somehow shot up on our own without much care from God. He knows that those of us who come to Him when our “stalks” are weak need to be buried up to our eyeballs in His Word so we can be “rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:16). He is faithful to those kinds of folks (of which I was one), helping us catch up on our new life as He sees us showing signs of growth.
Folks who come to Christ as babies have nurturing parents and a faith community. They are like seed that is planted, and “God gives (them) a body as he has determined” (1 Corinthians 15:38). Both the “early” and “late” bloomers are equally loved by Him as His precious children. And as the Apostle Paul says, “If we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). When God is the Gardener, we “will flourish.., bear fruit in old age.., stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:13). If we want to be strong servants of the Lord, we must “humbly accept the word planted” in us, which can save us (James 1:21).
Nurture us and grant us growth in You, O Lord. Amen