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.
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.