Thursday, October 10, 2019
For the first time in many years we did not have a garden this summer. I removed all the old, rotting boards that surrounded it and spread out the dirt to create a new water flow pattern in my back yard. Two factors that determined this outcome were the need to keep water from flowing towards my house, and the disappointing harvest from the previous year. Other than the best tomato plant ever, the beans were a bust, the peas were pathetic, and the zucchini were literally squashed. I had the biggest zucchini plants ever and they bloomed profusely, but only one out of every twenty blooms produced a fruit.
As I reflected on what went wrong, I was stumped. I prepared the soil properly. It was very fertile, made from compost. Maybe it was too fertile and is just producing top growth – I don’t know. I planted in the right places. There was plenty of rain. What went wrong? I came to the conclusion that the tress in my yard had grown sufficiently to be blocking the sun for too many hours of the day. The garden had to go.
During the evaluation process, I remember asking myself a question. How can we seemingly do everything right and still not get blessed with a bountiful harvest?
That question applies to more than just gardens. It teaches us an eternal principle that God wants us to know. Here it is – Our plans and preparations are meaningless and unproductive unless God is our priority.
Isaiah 17:10-11 You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain.
Unless we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and building our lives on the Solid Rock, everything we do will ultimately fail and be destroyed. It doesn’t matter how technologically advanced we become. It doesn’t help that we do all the scientific research to increase productivity. It makes absolutely no difference that we have all the administrative and organizational skills to plan for every possible contingency. If our lives aren’t centered on Jesus Christ, and if our hope and strength aren’t in Him alone, all we are doing is feeding futility.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in the book of Hosea. It says,
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
So get out your spiritual roto-tiller (some of us might need roto-rooters), dig up the hard ground of your heart, and plant the seeds of his productive priorities. When you do, the harvest is guaranteed.