by Emily Conrad
My hopes for my vegetable garden have been somewhat disappointed in that I thought by mid-August I’d bring in enough produce to share. With the exception of a couple of cucumbers, that hasn’t been the case. The heirloom tomatoes and watermelons I’ve been so excited about seemed to stop progressing. When would they ever ripen?
In need of rest recently, one thing I let go of was my daily trip out to the garden. The watched pot never boils, anyway, right? So I stopped watching as closely.
One evening, however, I made it out there and was surprised to see some of the heirloom tomatoes had changed from pale green to orange. When I looked closer, I realized one was red and ripe, so wedged in between other fruit it took me a minute to get it out without damage.
This tomato may not be the stereotypical photogenic specimen (although I’d love to see what photographer Edward Weston could’ve done with it because of his work with a green pepper), but I see something in it. (Incidentally, so does my dog!)
The tomato is part of a harvest that ripened even after my hope faltered. My discouragement and lack of attention didn’t stop the process God had set in motion.
It’s lumpy and weird and split on the side. And that’s exactly what I’d wanted when I planted heirloom tomatoes. I wanted the adventure of unusual tomatoes, packed with color and flavor the typical grocery store tomatoes sold around here could never match. I wanted something unique, and I got it.
In creating each of us, God wanted something unique. In shaping us with forces that leave us, in some ways, lumpy and weird and split, He’s working toward a result that that will be good.
Even when we can’t see it in the moment, even when we’re too tired to look for progress, even when we’re just plodding along with our mind on other things, the process God has set in motion–a process He’s walking us through every step of the way, by the way–continues. And one day, as His beloved children, we will lift our eyes and see something different than what we’ve seen before.
In Christ, we’ll eventually, in this life or the next, see a harvest we had begun to think impossible. We’ll see good come of the seed planted what seems like ages ago. We’ll see colorful fruit, delightfully unique, our own special gift to offer back to the loving Creator who gave it to us in the first place.
And in the meantime, it’s okay to notice when you need rest and to take it. Yes, sometimes God calls us to act. Always, He calls us to follow. But when we notice Him motion us to rest beside quiet waters, then it’s our job to obey. Everything does not depend on our effort or our watchful eye.
Jesus is the creator and sustainer. He is the author and finisher of our faith. When we are weak, He is strong, and He will fulfill His purposes for each of His children.
He is these things. He will do these things. We needn’t–in fact, we cannot–do them for ourselves.
Thank you, Jesus.
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