I absolutely love my garden. Every year I look forward to dreaming about it, planting it and finally, watching it grow. I learn a bit more each year and am proud to call myself a “wanna be” gardener. Every spring feels like Christmas to me as I roam through the gardening department, taking in all the flowers and vegetables, considering what to plant.
One year I spotted some lovely looking daisies and smiled to myself, thinking about how much my mom loves them. I almost picked up a plant or two, but then I saw…the fateful moment…just beyond that, were some daisy seeds. There was a picture of a pretty daisy on the front and I thought to myself, “I’m getting pretty good at gardening. I think I’ll just plant my own daisies! How hard can it be anyway?” (Ha!)
When planting time came, I carefully laid out my plants – tomatoes here, zucchini there…and finally sprinkled my daisy seeds in the corner by the bench, thinking of how pretty daisies would look there through the summertime months.
Well, in no time at all, everything started coming up…tiny plants of all sorts! I tended to them carefully – watering…weeding…watering…weeding. It was wonderful to watch everything start to grow and bloom. Soon I had vegetables and flowers filling my garden and was bringing in basketfuls to share with my family.
But – what was this BUSH by the bench in the corner of my garden? It was lush and green and looked healthy enough. I almost forgot what I planted there. Oh yes, the daisies! But where were the daisies? I waited.
Every day I would check for some sign of blooms. Sometimes I would even peek way down deep inside the bush. Nothing there. I watered it some more…still no daisies. I checked to make sure it was getting enough. Yes, it seemed to be…hmmm…still no daisies! To be honest, it was kind of an eye-sore and I would sometimes fret over how awkwardly it stuck out among the other blossoming plants.
Sometimes friends visiting would come and admire our garden. I was delighted to share what each plant was and how it was coming along that year. But inevitably, their eyes would be drawn to the BUSH in the corner. “And what is this?” Sheepishly, I would say, “Well, it’s supposed to be daisies.” “Hmmm…” they would smile, “Oh well!” I would then try to excuse my daisy bush, “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong or what is happening with it. I think it may be a dud or something.”
Like my daisy bush, have you ever felt like one of your children, whom you have loved, invested in and are tending to every day, is clearly not blooming spiritually? You faithfully plant seeds of God’s love, teaching and good priorities in their hearts and expectantly hope for good results. But there just doesn’t seem to be much response. Where are the signs of life? Is anything happening here?
That daisy bush held a few precious lessons for me that summer. The first is that I need to TRUST that God is in charge of the growing process itself. He is working behind the scenes, even when we don’t see it, and He is the one that makes the seed grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). Secondly, there is a different pace of growth for each child. It’s not my job to insist upon the timing! Instead of staring at my bush every day, fretting over when and if the daisies will ever come, I need to spend my energy on doing my part – continuing to water and weed. And thirdly, God is faithful (Deut. 7:9). If you plant His word faithfully in your child’s heart, day after day, season after season, it WILL grow. God’s good seed produces good fruit, every time. (The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it. – 1 Thess. 5:24)
This brings me to the happy end of my story. Just as we were about to pull up all the plants for the winter, I noticed a shade of white coming from within that huge bush in the corner! You guessed it; here came those long-awaited DAISIES! The next day that bush was completely white, covered in beautiful daisies! I joyfully picked a bunch and brought them in the house. The next day I did the same…and the next…and the next. Soon we had daisies tucked behind our ears and laced into crowns and necklaces. Everywhere DAISIES! I had to laugh at my thoughts about my dud of a daisy bush. Little did I know…
What a wonderful education I received from one thin package of daisy seeds. So, Mom, remember as you are fretting over your big green daisy-less bush…
- Trust that God is in charge of the growing process itself (Phil 1:6).
- Don’t insist on the timing. He has a different pace of growth for each child. You just be faithful to do your part and love your child well.
- Remember how many times you have considered yourself a “slow grower” too!!
- And finally, watch God pour out His blessing in due time!
– Julie McGrath
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (1 Cor. 3:6-7)
Watch over your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)
- Just like in gardening, where God is the grower, there is much you can do to help your children’s hearts be fertile soil for God’s growing process:
- Watering – Are you teaching your child God’s Word and His ways? Are you praying for him and investing in him lots of love and time?
- Weeding – Are you watching over his attitudes, friendships and influences?
- Are you more concerned with outward appearance, or are you trusting God to make His change from within?