The Growing Season

“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.'” Hosea 10:12 (NLT)

Driving out to visit my granddaughters this weekend, I saw the results of their mom telling me, “The planting is done!” Where once had stood weeds and stubble left over from last year’s harvest, now stood field after field of turned soil, ridged rows and pivots ready to roll. It looked sort of barren. It looked sort of empty. It looked like nothing.

But I knew of all the hard work that had gone into making those fields look empty. I knew of all the tilling and fertilizing and planting that had gone on before. And I knew that under that nothingness, lay seeds of corn or beans or sorghum sown with faith and expectation. And I knew that the next time I drove out to the farm, I would begin to see the fruit of that planting peaking above the nothingness. Another growing season has begun.

Is your family in a growing season right now? A season where you see nothing but emptiness? A season where you have faithfully sown seeds of love and prayer yet have nothing to show for it? Take heart because the Lord has promised… another growing season has begun.

Think of those seeds lying beneath that turned topsoil. They aren’t just sitting there with nothing happening. No, they are breaking open, taking root, struggling to break through the heavy soil and reach for the sun. So it is with the seeds that you have planted for your family.

All those prayers… breaking open the hardened hearts of the one you pray for. All that faith… taking root and growing strong. All that hope… struggling to break through whatever is weighing it down.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24 (NLT)

Have you ever done a science experiment in school where you planted bean seeds in see-through containers so you could watch them grow? Do you remember that some seeds did better than others? The ones that got just the right amount of water, just the right amount of sun, just the right amount of fertilizer grew more quickly than the others.

The farmer, too, has to have just the right amount of sun and water, fertilizer and soil, so that the seeds will grow. They don’t leave this to chance. They are out checking the soil moisture and the content quite often. If there aren’t even nutrients, they add it. If there isn’t enough water, they add that.

During this growing season in your family, make sure that the seeds you have planted have a chance to grow. Water them regularly with faithful prayer. Check the content of your heart to make sure there isn’t any unforgiveness or anger living there. Keep your heart soft and warm so that those seeds have a chance to grow. And then step back and let the Master Gardener do His work.

When I looked at those “empty” fields, I didn’t see barrenness, I saw a beginning. I saw hope and faith. I saw each little seed opening and growing, pushing up through the soil, reaching for the sun. If you are in a growing season in your family, remember that it won’t always be like this. If you can continue to pray, trust, and believe, you will soon see the results of the love and prayers you have planted. Mom or Dad need your prayers even more right now as they start to put down roots and struggle to reach for the Son. It will happen. Just keep believing.

“I will give you one heart and a new spirit; I will take from you your hearts of stone and give you tender hearts of love for God, so that you can obey my laws and be my people, and I will be your God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 (TLB)

A Stander in Nebraska

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