The Early Stages of a Magnificent Beginning

Today we have a special guest blogger, Connie Milchling. Connie is on staff at Living Word overseeing our women and prayer ministries.

Last Sunday I got a text from a friend saying, “Con, I loved your analogy of your garden being your canvas. It’s been swimming in my heart all weekend. Thank you!” The analogy popped out in conversation as we sat around a fire pit appreciating various gifts and abilities assembled in our group.  One person was a master Luthier who makes amazing stringed instruments for a living. Another creates landscapes with incredible water features, patios, and walls for all-season beauty. Someone else assembles flowers into gorgeous arrangements for weddings and special occasions.

For decades, my primary form of art has been words: writing, poetry, thoughtful considerations. A few years ago, I discovered a new expression of art: herb and vegetable gardening.

So, about the same time most of my friends are getting out of the gardening world, I am getting into it. That either makes me a late bloomer or a lifelong learner who finally discovered gardening as a canvas— God’s canvas! As Isaiah 6:3 says, The whole earth is full of his glory.”

In the dead of winter, while snow is still on the ground, I admire the few plants that hang on from last season.

In early spring, we begin with loving care of tiny seeds in a makeshift greenhouse

in hopes that one day they will align into a beautiful row

and eventually grow into great tastes adorning our dinner plates. But this takes time, attention to detail, diligence, observation, care, and patience. A lot of patience. That’s the part most people don’t like. We’re driven by a desire for immediate gratification and do not care to wait well.

But when you have a vegetable garden as a canvas, you learn to “paint” slowly, wait, and trust. You also learn the saying is true, “We really do reap what we sow.” I cannot plant tomatoes and get beans, or seed spinach and yield garlic. Whatever I put in the soil is what I will eventually get out; it all grows true to its nature.

Paul uses an agricultural theme in 1 Corinthians 3:6 to describe our maturing process in partnership with God, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. As the 50-day flourishing project wraps up, I agree with Pastor Brian. This journey is not ending; it is merely in the early stages of a magnificent beginning of bearing much fruit that lasts.

For the past several weeks, Pastor Brian has been planting seeds in our lives. Now it is our turn to care for each other, to “water” them, and together, wait in patient anticipation of how God will make them grow (remember seeds germinate at varying rates!). This year God aligned my love for words, along with the garden, and started this “new thing” as a frequent reminder of what he’d like to see growing in me.

With a grateful heart,

Connie

Galatians 6:9: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”