Written By: Mary Martinez

Gardening is one of my favorite past times. I thoroughly enjoy the entire growing process, from the tiny seed to the final fall harvest and everything in between.

Ever since starting my own garden, I have had voluntary plants come up randomly around my yard outside of my “designated garden area.” Last year I had a pumpkin plant sprout in my rose garden, and this year while weeding around my patio, I discovered a tomato plant coming up in the rocky, sandy soil amongst the weeds. Instead of pulling the tomato plant or transplanting it into an ideal location, I decided just to let it grow. Creating a sort of science experiment out of it, I put a tomato cage around it, and I have been watering and feeding it along with my other plants. Surprisingly, it has been growing like crazy! In fact, it’s producing more fruit than any of the other tomato plants that I intentionally planted!

I have no idea how this little seed got to it’s chosen location. It could have been a bird, the wind, or maybe carried on the foot of one of my dirt-loving children. Although it’s fun to try to imagine the countless ways it could have gotten there, the reality is that without the proper care and tending to, it wouldn’t have grown into the fruit-producing plant that it is today. If I hadn’t noticed its value, decided to put the cage around it to protect it, or given it the proper amount of water and nutrition, it would never have matured to this stage of producing fruit.

Every day we are planting seeds of faith into the lives of others, whether intentional or not. Sometimes a “seed” will surprise us. Like this little tomato plant, maybe it will sprout in a person we deem to have “bad soil.” There will be times we doubt the possibility of growth in a person due to their “location in life.” There will be times when the seed has already been sown, and we are placed there to help tend to it and help it produce fruit. In some instances, we will plant seeds and never get the chance to see it grow or bear fruit. Either way, it’s important to remember that we aren’t tasked with the whole growing process, nor are we in control of it. Just as I wasn’t in control of where that lone tomato plant sprouted, we are not solely in control of each seed’s ultimate fate. It is God who is in control.

However, God does call us to play different roles, whether to be the soil preparer, seed sower, or caretaker. But in the end, it is God who signals the seed to start growing, and He alone causes the growth. He knows when the time and conditions are right. Be faithful in your part that He has tasked you with. If you aren’t sure of what that is, pray, and ask God to show you. Keep sowing those seeds of faith and tending to them regardless of whether they were intentionally planted. Have faith and trust in God’s promise to do the growing.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was causing the growth. ​So neither is the one who plants nor the one who waters anything, but [only] God who causes the growth.​ ​He who plants and he who waters are one [in importance and esteem, working toward the same purpose]; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers [His servants working together]; you are God’s cultivated field [His garden, His vineyard], God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

Written By: Mary Martinez