He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Psalm 1
It had been a particularly bad week. One of those where I was wondering if you could send kindergarteners to military school. Spring Break and a week of empty days loomed before me. I was not excited about spending a week with my children and I’m pretty sure--had they been asked--they would have said the same. The lack of fruit in anyone’s heart, including my own, discouraged me. Why weren’t my children better behaved? Why were words so harsh, tempers quick, and actions unkind? Why did selfishness and strife reign in our house instead of gratitude and peace?
But God (wonderful verses begin that way) intervened. Gorgeous, sunny weather. Refreshingly cool and breezy air. Everywhere we looked was green and new. Spring in Texas is beautiful and God’s work of regeneration and restoration was on display in His creation and also my heart. All things were indeed being made new.
We spent as much of our days out of doors with dirt, shovels, plants, and seeds. I attacked our weedy, overgrown garden with ferociousness, yanking at stubborn, ingrown plants that produced nothing and did not “add to the beauty,” to borrow a sentiment from Sara Groves. The kids and I ordered the chaos together, planning the patches of herbs and vegetables. We examined each type of seed and marveled at the possibility and potential existing within. What an act of faith to take that tiny seed, bury it, sprinkle some water and then—in expectation, in hope—wait. Wait for growth, for beauty, for fruit.
I carefully took out a few bean plant seeds that I had started with the kids in wet paper towels and plastic sandwich bags. A week ago, they were hard, brown-spotted kernels. Now, their fragile tendrils poked out of the shell. Rebekah and I placed them gingerly in the dirt, me reminding her that the roots grow down and the rest of the plant will start growing up. And it struck me: roots come first. Long before I see any evidence or activity above the surface, roots are reaching out for nourishment. Just because I cannot see anything does not mean the plant is dormant or the seeds are duds.
This journey of parenthood, and of my own walk of sanctification, is a walk of faith. I can be confident that “he who began a good work will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I need to be rooted in my Savior who supplies all my needs. I need to weed out the bad, the unproductive, and the ugly from my life. My seedlings need to be rooted in the good soil of Scripture, doctrine, instruction and watered daily. And one day, by God’s good work, I will see a harvest of righteousness.