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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Seeds of hope

When the weather is so hot I have very little desire to work outside. I will cut the grass. I will also spend time watering, but other than that, I stay inside during this hot weather. But there comes a point in late July or early August that I have to bite the bullet and do some work in the vegetable garden.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

Recently I decided that if I wanted to have a fall garden, I would have to get out there and work. It was the possibility that we might get some good rain from the tropical system that pushed me out the door. I needed to get the work done before the rain.

I started by digging my potatoes. I wasn’t expecting much of a harvest due to the heavy rains back in May. Many of the plants drowned, but I did get a small harvest. I cleared that area of weeds and got the soil ready to plant. Then I pulled all the corn stalks.

Some of my squash plants had bitten the dust, so I pulled them out. There was a healthy supply of weeds that I pulled, too. I think I filled the wheelbarrow four times with weeds and debris. The garden was clear and ready to begin again.

I thought for a while about what I wanted to plant. I put out five new tomato plants, as that May rain hurt my tomato crop, too. I planted a small area of corn and some mammoth sunflowers. I put out two kinds of beans. I had some potatoes that had sprouted, and thought why not see if I can get a fall crop? I have one more area to clean out and then I hope to plant some peas and broccoli. We will probably try to plant some lettuce and spinach too, once the weather cools.

The good news is my plan worked. I beat the rain and got it done. There are always more things to do in the garden and I hope to get back out there soon. There are about 90 days left in the growing season and I want to see what I can do while there is still time.

As I stood out there looking at the garden before this major transformation, I wondered if our lives look like that mess to Jesus. I wondered if He sees us as weed-infested and full of dead vegetables. What do we say to Him? I mean, there is always stuff in our lives that we need His help fixing. We can’t do it alone. Do you think that Jesus is angry, disappointed, and sad at the state our lives?

The revelation I got this weekend is that He is not, much to my surprise. I was excited about the opportunity to get out and clean up my garden. Jesus is excited when He sees our heart ready to work with Him. Those ugly old weeds don’t bother Him. He is just so glad to spend some time with us. In fact, He is humming and singing while He works.

You see, He is glad to get those life-sucking weeds out of our lives. He sees the potential for Kingdom fruit in our lives. If you are ready to work with Him, He is anxious to get started.

While I was planting the seed, I stopped a couple of times and just looked at the seeds in my hands. There was something about those dry seeds that stirred hope in me. I guess it was what those seeds represent, the possibility of a harvest. I am hoping they will produce a crop for me before the first frost.

That’s why Jesus gets excited to work in our lives. He sees our potential. He plants those seeds of hope in us, knowing that He will get a harvest from us. Jesus knows that the seeds have to sprout and grow in us. He will tend the garden because He is intent on tasting the fruit.

I want to encourage you to open your heart before God and ask Him where He wants to work in your life. Don’t try to fix something on your own. It is a futile attempt to fix something in your life without God’s help. We tend to focus on sin, and He is much more interested in heart attitude, conviction, endurance, perseverance, faith, hope, and love. One thing I have learned recently is that if we will work with Jesus where He wants to work, He will take care of the rest. God loves you and only wants the best for you and a spiritual harvest for the Kingdom.

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