Muddy Patches

I have a little garden.  It’s a suburbanite’s attempt to bond with nature and grab a handful of fresh lettuce once in a while.  I am not hipster enough to have chickens, although the little peeping chicks at the Ace Hardware do tempt me.

But my spinach is lame this year.  Patchy.  I stood in my muddy boots glaring at it yesterday.  Why didn’t all those dumb seeds come up?  I planted them!  Why did some shoot up and some rebel?

Hmmm.  What to do.Seeds

I knew what a smart farmer would do: sow more seed.

But I’m a fakey-farmer!  I want to sow the magic beans and watch them grow.  I don’t want to get sweaty, or muddy, or find those seed packets again.  Sigh.

How like parenting.

We sow the seed of gospel truth in our kids’ lives, and stand back with a smile waiting for the healthy crop to burst from the soil.  Sometimes it does, and we delight in the show.  But sometimes it’s patchy.  Or sometimes it doesn’t show up at all.  Sometimes there is no sign that any seed has been sown anywhere.

Do we wash our hands of it?  Do we glare at that patch of mud, convinced that nothing can ever grow there, that it’s too late, that we’re terrible gardeners, or that the seed was bad?

Or do we plant more seeds?

Let’s remind ourselves of Galatians 6:9: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Don’t give up, farmers!  God is faithful to bring the harvest, and we have the privilege to continue to sow seeds.  God will use your tired, muddy, calloused hands for good.  Sometimes the seed will look like family devotions, or long conversations, or loving discipline, or trips for ice-cream.  Sometimes it will look like quiet prayers, or helping an adult child with a home project, or sitting beside a hospital bed, or sending a note of encouragement.

Only God can change hearts, but we can sow seed, and remind each other not to give up. Due season is coming.

This entry was posted in Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Muddy Patches

  1. Andrea Sharp says:

    Very encouraging, Trish! I was just doing a little devotion with my grandchildren. They were twisting and turning and wanting to go play, so it was short and sweet, but the gospel was spoken. What a privilege to come alongside my daughter and her husband and plant seeds in their little hearts!

  2. Lisa Henry says:

    Trish, Thanks so much for your “labor of love” and please keep going with these encouraging gospel thoughts. I am truly blessed by your words!!

  3. Susan Ashford says:


    Thanks for your post. It spoke to me and made me think of this similar passage:

    7 See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
    8 You also, be patient.
    9 Do not grumble against one another,
    11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. – James 5:7-11 (selected)

    Your thoughts are timely and comforting. Timely, because Mother’s Day is here and it’s so easy to be discouraged at our little harvest. But comforting because as this passage from James points out, there are seasons for farming. I have no idea what early and late rains means but it indicates that waiting is required (and that there’s no microwave involved). Also, that grumbling against ourselves, our families, God (which I often sadly do) is forbidden. Instead we are to study the compassionate and merciful purposes of the Lord, the heavenly Husbandman and friend of sinners.

    Your words stir my mind and heart. Please keep writing!

    A question: I wonder if anyone’s written a book to help suburbanites learn more about Jesus’ agricultural parables?

    • I love your thoughts on this Susan! Thanks for sharing them.
      Yeah, good question about the farming book. It’s not quite our world. Do a little research, write it, and I’ll buy it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *