The broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant came up quickly, followed by the tomatoes.
But the entire flat of peppers remained barren.
There was no change.
A niggling of concern entered my mind.
Another week passed.
Concern turned to worry as I envisioned an entire year without jalapeno and fresh peppers.
Every day we studied the dirt filled holes searching for any signs of life.
Finally – today – we saw our first tiny sprout.
And then another, and another.
Such a relief.
I was powerless to make those seeds sprout.
I had done all I could do. I planted. I watered. I kept them warm. And I waited.
It’s the waiting that’s hard.
He said in Mark 4: 26-29 – “…This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
“All by itself the soil produces grain.”
I can’t break open each seed and force the spouts out.
I can’t pull each sprout into a stalk or create a head.
I cannot create or ripen one piece of fruit.
But I can plant.
I can prepare the soil.
I can water.
And I can wait.
Because the soil itself will produce the grain.
Everyday we have the opportunity to sow seeds of kindness, of love, of grace, of forgiveness.
But we cannot make those seeds sprout.
Or produce fruit.
Sometimes we want to dig in the soil a little and see if there’s any life. We want to force growth, create change.
But we are powerless.
We plant the seed.