That did NOT turn out the way I had planned.
Can anyone else relate?
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
This seems to be the story of my life.
I can give you many many examples, but today we’ll just stick with my garden.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you know that in the spring I ventured to plant three different garden spots, thinking, “Oh what a harvest I’ll have!”
I used to raise a large garden each year when my children were younger, and I loved canning all my produce and seeing all the fruit of my labor in the late summer and early fall.
I have not been able to really plant a full garden and preserve my harvest in jars for a few years because of family circumstances. So this year was going to be different….
My garden went from this….
Family needs stepped in once again but in a good way. So I didn’t have the time to spend working the gardens the way I would have liked.
Do you know there is actually a good harvest in that mess?
Obviously not like it could have been but there was a harvest.
I’ve put some corn in the freezer and canned some green beans and tomatoes.
Would you like to know what I’ve harvested the most of?
I am a seed saver and if I haven’t got you involved yet, I will.
I was so frustrated and upset the last time I went to gather items from the garden. I just felt like the whole endeavor had been a waste of time and labor. Then I realized how many seeds I had. These seeds can and will be used by not just me but other people that I share them with to bring many future harvests to come.
I may not have reaped the harvest I had planned, but I did reap a harvest nonetheless.
That got me thinking about the way God brings in His harvest.
God can and does take the mess of our lives and produces a harvest.
Sometimes, it’s wonderful little treasures found beneath all the weeds, and sometimes it’s only a handful of seeds that will grow into a gorgeous and productive garden in the future.
Consider the woman at the well.
Check out the whole story here. John 4:1-42
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Beginning in verse 5, we’re told that Jesus came to a city in Samaria and began a conversation with this lone woman. She was there in the middle of the day although most of the women come in the early morning when it is cooler. She didn’t come with the other women. As we read further, we find out why.
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
I think it is safe to say that she was a mess, and had a lot of “weeds”. So much so that nobody wanted anything to do with her. She carried her water in the hottest part of the day to avoid all the other women because she was an outcast among outcasts.
Throughout this conversation, she asked questions and Jesus gave answers that dug deep into those “weeds” and came out with beautiful treasures: redemption, eternal life, and knowing the Messiah.
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
There were also some seeds.
28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
And a harvest…
35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
So, when you feel like a failure, when your plans go awry, and your life is a tangle of weeds that is too exhausting to wade through, there are always treasures hidden in the mess.
Rest assured, Jesus is Lord of the harvest and He has a plan for your mess of a garden.
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