It’s funny how God uses His creation, nature, to share His truths to us. For some reason this is one of the preferred ways He speaks to me and I admit, I love it. This time He used a tomato plant. You heard that right, a tomato plant.
Quite a few years ago I purchased a small planter box that I could roll in and out of the garage and help the girls plant herbs and a few vegetables. I am NOT a gardener so this feeble attempt at gardening was the extent of my expertise and knowledge. This summer I once again rolled the planter out of the garage and placed it in its traditional spot, but never got it planted with anything. Notta, zip, zero. It sadly sat there all summer, with dead remnants of past plants poking out of the bedraggled dirt, pretty much taking up space. Then, the craziest thing happened.
Mid-August I noted a little green sprout poking up out of a patch of cleared dirt. I figured it was a wayward dandelion seed that made its way to the box, but as a few more days went on I noticed that it was not looking much like a dandelion. In fact, it was a little tomato plant that looked small, but strong, and I could not figure out where in the world it came from. Last I checked the Tooth Fairy didn’t have a side-kick, “The Tomato Fairy”.
Then I remembered that I had planted a tomato plant last summer in that spot but it eventually died, got removed, and I forgot all about it. And here it is, one year later, growing strong and healthy and I did NOTHING to make this happen. I watched my little plant continue to grow and I immediately put my tomato cage around it to give it support. Soon it began to flower and is now producing a crazy number of little tomatoes.
What’s the gem God illustrated for me through this little, now big, plant? When we create deep roots in our faith, especially in those times of peace and quiet in our lives, not only will fruit come from it, but those roots will ground us when difficulties arise. And they will.
Those little tomato roots laid dormant and unseen for a year, completely covered by the dirt. Even with the drought we’ve seen in our area, and a negligent, oblivious gardener, they were resilient enough to rise above the surface and grow strong branches bearing abundant fruit. All of this happened without a single bit of help from me. When we read our Bible daily, spend time with the Lord and seek His face, we are creating strong roots in our hearts that will sustain us and help us to not only survive, but THRIVE, during times of trouble.
John 15:4-8 says “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Are you investing in your underground root system and creating a firm spiritual foundation for yourself? It’s the best return on investment there is. This brown-thumbed gardener can attest to that.