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Doug Creamer Column: Where do we grow?

Last fall, when all the winter forecasts started to post on the internet, everyone said it was going to be a cold and snowy winter.

December made me a believer, with the heavy snowfall we received. I thought we were on the way to a winter wonderland.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

The Gulf of Mexico kept its end of the bargain and sent up copious amounts of water, there just wasn’t enough cold air around to make the snow. We do live here in the Carolinas; March can sometimes surprise us around here.

I walked out in my yard the other day and all I could find was soggy soil. There is no way I am going to be getting the tiller out in the garden anytime soon.

Even though I have raised beds the ground is way too wet. With the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, I am anxiously waiting to get started on my garden.

One of the secrets to a good garden is good soil. I have brought truckloads of soil into this yard since I moved here. I also put the leaves in my garden to help build up the soil.

I have lots of worms in my soil which I know helps to create the perfect place to gets things growing. I know it’s early, but I am getting excited about the upcoming season.

Most gardeners know it takes the right amount of sunshine, water and some good soil to make things grow well. So what conditions do we need for some good spiritual growth?

Jesus taught us in the parable of the sower that the right soil conditions are critical for a good harvest. So what do we need if we really want to grow spiritually strong?

Someone pointed out to me recently that mountain-top experiences with God do not create good spiritual growth. I wanted to strongly object.

When I experience God in a close, personal, and intimate way it spurs me on to growth. The person pointed out that mountain tops are covered in rocks. There isn’t the good soil required for growth.

Rich soil exists in the valleys. Our emotions enjoy the highs we experience on the mountain tops, but real growth occurs in the valleys.

The valleys of life are filled with trials, difficulties, and challenges. Every step requires great effort.

How can we experience growth when things are so hard?

Most gardeners know that adding cow manure to your soil will help things grow.

So that means that we will grow better and stronger spiritually when we are faced with rough times.

When we are walking through the manure of life our spirits grow stronger as our faith is stretched and we find ourselves leaning heavily on God.

When we are called upon to trust God, especially when we can’t see our next step, that’s when our faith will grow.

When the doctor gives us news we don’t want to hear.

When our finances turn into a big mess.

When we open our paycheck and find a pink slip.

When we watch our loved ones struggling with health issues.

When the storms of life are howling.

Those are the kinds of things that cause us to fall on our knees and cry out to God. It’s in those unbearable moments that our faith and trust in God is forced to grow.

When the strong winds are blowing and the waves seem higher than buildings, we cling to a God who will not let us go.

Whether the miracle comes or not, we believe in a God who will not fail or reject us. We know that He is the rock on whom we stand. He will not falter, nor will He allow us to be overcome.

Sometimes I think God has way too much faith in me, but then I realize that He is right there walking with me, and if necessary, carrying me through the storm. He promises never to leave us.

I sense that some of you are walking through the storms of life. I want to encourage you to press on, to hold on to God.

God will not let you down. He is with you. He will never leave you. You will come out of this stronger, better, and victorious. And when you do, you will have another testimony to the goodness and greatness of our God.

You will be stronger because your roots have grown deep in the soil of your faith. You are a fighter who never gives up. Let the storms rage, you will overcome.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.