I have spent around 40 hours personally digging and ripping up old roots, vines, shrubs and trees from our "bunny bush" area that the kids loved to play in (but our neighbor despised looking at). It was an old grapevine that had been under cared for LONG before the Colony moved in (and under-cared for it even more!).
Then another 20 hours or so was spent preparing the soil and covering the ground accordingly so it would be ready for a garden in the spring.
I waited all winter long in anticipation of what was to come.
Then February rolled around and I planted these tiny little seeds, following each instruction to a T.
Then, miracle of all miracles, several of my little seeds began to grow into beautiful little seedlings.
I know I shouldn't be shocked, but I typically don't do well with plants that die if I don't keep them watered;). (I will say that I have gotten better over the years and last year's little garden did surprising well!)
So, I prepared the best way I knew how.
I consistently watered and fed those little seeds.
Next came the transplant, where I had to uproot the tender little seedlings from their safe home and take them out in the "wild" where they will have to strengthen their roots and grow strong to be able to withstand the impending storms (and fuzzy, hungry critters and probably even a peck or 20 from the Colony chickens) that will most certainly come their way.
Sadly some of the little seedlings didn't make the transplant so well. And even after tucking the Colony garden in for the nights before the frost, some of them have not weathered so well.
It's hard not to get discouraged and even harder to push away the thoughts of defeat and desire to quit.
But wouldn't you know that this month's lesson for the Colony kids at Journey is Perseverance.
Perseverance to keep going when things feel impossible.
Perseverance in the failure,
and in the embarrassment,
and in the feelings of defeat,
and to keep planting those seeds, even when we feel like the roots will NEVER take.
Because the roots and fruit and growth are not OUR responsibility!
Oh no, we could NEVER do that.
Our job is to plant the seeds in faith.
Not knowing what is going on under the soil.
Maybe never even seeing the growth we think we should.
That is the job of the Lord over creation.
The author of life and the finisher of faith.
It's all part of the plan.
And we GET to be part of it.
Harvesting a garden and harvesting souls are so intertwined its no wonder why Jesus used this picture to teach his people.
This Colony garden has taught me more about my own walk with Christ and the mission HE has given me than almost ay other thing I've worked through.
"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God who gives the growth."
1 Corinthians 3:7