Here is the first lesson in which God used my garden to remind me of something important. He reminded me to have patience. He used cucumbers to do it – God can be SO creative sometimes. And He has to be creative when teaching me – sometimes very random things get used by God, and that’s all part of the fun of being His child. 🙂
Last year my cucumbers were growing like gangbusters. The year before it was zucchini, last year it was cucumbers. I only planted two plants, but they were taking over the garden. I didn’t have much planted in there – at least, not much that survived to grow and produce anything. I had four tomato plants (two cherry tomato plants, and two “pear” tomato plants), a couple cantaloupe plants (which had about six little melons growing on them) … and the two cucumber plants which were conspiring to take over the world.
They started off to grow very quickly after I planted them, and kept on growing quickly. I was really excited to see them growing so fast, thinking that I was going to get a bumper crop in no time at all. I was anxiously anticipating the day I would be able to feast on a luscious salad, complete with flavorful tomatoes and cool, crisp cucumbers from my very own garden!
So I went out there one day and started looking for cucumbers. I’m thinking there HAS to be some produce in amongst all those green leaves. There had been so many little yellow flowers, and there still were many there. So of course some of them had to have matured into cucumbers by that time, right? I started poking around the edges and lifting a few leaves – nothing. I’m not seeing anything that resembles a cucumber. So I got discouraged and went back inside, wondering what’s going on.
Can you tell I have a hard time with patience?
Next day – go back out to the garden. This time I am really curious – where are those cucumbers? So I get more aggressive, starting to move the vines around and getting into the center of the plants. There they are! I had to get down in there, because there was so much growth (it seemed to be all leaves and vines) but there they were – three perfect cucumbers. My patience had been rewarded. OK, in spite of not having much patience, I had been rewarded. Well, as you can see from the photo they weren’t really perfect. But they tasted perfect in a salad that night! 🙂
OK, so here’s what those cucumbers taught me – since you’ve stuck with me through this post thus far. I learned even thought we don’t see the “fruit” (or veggies) that we are expecting to see in our lives, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. We may have to look a little closer and investigate a little harder – but it’s there. It may remain hidden for awhile. We may not be sure it’s there, or we may not see it there on the surface. But it’s there. Just like the work that God is doing inside us as we walk through the hard times we experience. We sometimes get through a tough time, and having been told that God is using this season in our life to produce the fruit of the Spirit, we start to ask God, “OK, Lord – where is it? I don’t feel any different. I don’t see this great and wonderful work You have been doing in my life and/or in my heart. What gives?”
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” – James 5:7
Even though it’s not seen, if God is working in our lives (and He is constantly working in our lives) we will eventually see the rewards of what He is doing. It may not be evident at first, but one day we will turn around and say “Oh, THERE’S what God was working toward all that time.”
Maybe we just need to be patient …
which brings me to lesson #2 that my garden taught me last year. 🙂