You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
I am not an expert gardener I just enjoy spending time outside; sowing seeds in pots, nurturing them before finally planting them out and watching them grow. There is always a lot of pruning and tidying to do around the garden but that is half the fun of it.
Some of the early flowering plants have finished blooming now. It is time to collect their seeds for next year. The technique is very simple; just cut a stem and place it in an envelope, head down so that the seeds collect in the bottom - and don’t forget to label the envelope! But as long as those seeds remain in the envelope at the back of the drawer they remain just seeds. Only when they are sown in pots and eventually planted out do they show their full potential. After flowering they will in their turn produce a further abundance of seeds and so the cycle continues. It always amazes me how many seeds one plant will produce, but each seed has the potential to grow into another beautiful plant. And still there are enough seeds left over for the birds to eat. An example of God’s gracious bounty! Jesus had something to say on that score: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24 NIV. So, I can sow seeds, feed and water them but they will never achieve their full potential until they are planted out and receive the sunshine and rainfall they need to develop that only God can provide.
Is our life like those seeds? We may think we have all we need; health, wealth, family and friends. What more do we want? Yet sometimes we may feel that there must be something missing in our lives. What is that deep ache that comes on every so often? The answer is quite simply a yearning, a need for God. God does not want us to remain simply dull, dry, brown seeds packed tidily in an envelope never displaying our full potential; God wants to be a part of our lives. God has a plan for each of us, even if we were not aware of it before. Indeed we may never know what that plan is but since God made us, cares for us, loves us and promises to walk with us every step of our journey through life it must be for our benefit.
We all have the potential to make a difference in the world, even if something quite small. Let us ask God to help us to develop that potential for the greater glory of God. After all: ‘The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night and said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you”’. (I Kings 3:5). If God was prepared to help Solomon He will surely help you and me.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years