This past weekend I found myself side by side with my children digging up the unwanted raspberry and strawberry starts that had sprouted through our garden plot. Now I am by no means a “gardener.” While I enjoy watching a garden grow, it is really my parents who have the gift for such things. In fact, our garden plot is relatively small and throughout the summer our family tends to get more produce from my parents’ garden than we harvest from our own. But we have a garden because my kids love planting, watering and watching things grow.
What a wonder it is that a tiny seed, under the right conditions, will grow into something that bears fruit to sustain us! It really is an amazing process God designed to provide for humanity.
And this process is very God-dependent. We till the soil, cut our semi-straight lines, place the seeds at the appropriate depths carefully covering them with soft dirt. We diligently water and weed our garden plot watching and waiting for any signs of growth. Of life.
It is God who causes the growth.
We can do “all the things” and our seeds may not sprout.
It is God who breathes life into the process.
This reminds me of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:6 -11
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Did you see that? It is God who makes things grow. And Paul isn’t talking about produce here. He is talking about changed lives. Changed hearts.
When it comes to raising our children to love and follow Jesus with their whole beings, we can do “all the things,” but “it is God who works in [them] to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” It is God who brings the growth. And that is good news!
Just like the boy who gave all he had – two fish and five loaves – you and I are called to teach our children the truth of who Jesus is knowing all the while that it is Jesus himself who does the miracle of making the food never run out, of making the dead seed spring to life, of drawing our children’s hearts to himself. It is Jesus who causes the growth.
And that, my friends, should help us all relax and enjoy our children more. God’s got this.
**Check out Oh Amanda for some fun ways to use the garden to teach your children about God’s Word.
Mom and Dad, how does the knowledge that is Jesus is the one bringing growth to your child’s love for him sit in your heart? Do you feel relief? Or anxiety? Do you find it hard or easy to trust Jesus with your child’s spiritual well-being? Why do you think that is?
Jesus, although you work in ways that we can’t see, we believe you are working “underground” in our children’s lives using our humble offerings to draw their hearts to you. Clearly show us the ways we need to pour into our children’s spirits that the soil of their hearts might be ready for you to move. May our kiddos know how deeply you love and adore them. Thank you, Father. Amen.