Gardening

Anybody else struggle with waiting? One of the great difficulties for the novice homesteader is waiting. Who am I kidding? It is likely a struggle for most of us. 

Waiting for Christmas, waiting for a check in the mail, waiting for the sequel of your favorite movie, waiting, waiting.

“Are we there yet?” echoes the clarion cry from the backseat of the car.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (ESV).

I have multiple “gardens” on our homestead. I have my bean and corn field, my herb garden, my tomato garden, my potato garden and more.

I typically haven’t grown potatoes. For some reason, I just haven’t had much luck with potatoes. This year I decided I would study potato gardening by going to YouTube and watching videos of Hollis and Nancy Homestead.

I planted 50 pounds of potatoes near one of my ponds. Then I waited and waited. A week or so ago I shared with my wife that I was thinking I would need to replant that garden. Nothing was growing. Understand, I have grown gardens for years. I understand waiting. (But I don’t like it!) Due to my previous lack of success, I assumed failure and was ready to do something else.

Sound familiar?

How often do people come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, but life doesn’t quite go the way they planned. Relationships falter, sickness and disease creep in, projects fail, jobs are lost, finances struggle. Too often, the fervor we once had in our relationship with Christ gets dampened.

We hang onto the churchy language we have learned. But we stop reading our Bibles, or we stop connecting in a local fellowship. We move Jesus to the shelf in the back, and pour into the distractions of life that make us feel better.

Wait upon the Lord! Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (ESV).

Friends, we are not waiting on the Lord to make our worldliness better. We are waiting on the Lord as we anticipate the harvest of our salvation, eternal life in Christ Jesus. God is growing us in our sanctification, in holiness and obedience to Him. That growth is easy to miss.

I thought my potato garden was a bust. I went out a few days ago to decide which rows I would clear out. I knelt down to pull some of the weeds out of the way. And there it was: beautiful potato plants, popped up in perfect rows, hidden by the weeds. Sound familiar?

Now I need to do something crazy: mound dirt on top of these plants. Why? Mounding dirt strains the potato plants, pushing them to dig deeper and grow potatoes.

This is exactly what happens in the life of a believer. Just when we think we are on top of it, dirt comes piling on. Don’t resent the dirt. God is sovereignly moving you to a deeper sanctification, for His glory. I can’t see them, but I know God the Creator is growing them taters.

The same happens in the life of the redeemed. For each of us, planted and watered in our faith, remember this: God is the Lord of the harvest. All Glory be to God!

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:37-38 ESV).

Denny Dillman is benevolence pastor at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus.