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By: Jennifer N. Pearson

As of today, Spring has arrived, and it’s my absolute favorite time of year. I would argue that our little, small town in Georgia has the most amazing spring weather (well, mostly), minus the unbelievable amount of pollen that will be present for the next few weeks. The grass is beginning to green up, the blueberry bushes (amongst many other trees, plants, and flowers) now have blooms, family grill-outs happen frequently on these cool but comfortable evenings, and I find myself savoring it all. Something else that brings such excitement to me this time of year is preparing to plant my garden. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, my little girl decided that she also loves digging in the dirt with her sweet little hands and planning her “own little spot” in the garden.

We made a trip this year to pick out the seeds that we would plant, and as she opened her pack to take a sneak peek of what would soon be placed in the dirt, she wrinkled her nose and furrowed her brow in confusion.

“That’s it? Mom, I’m pretty sure that will not turn into a tomato!”

I couldn’t help but smile at her innocent question because, ironically, I remember clearly thinking the exact same thing when my mom used to plant her garden.

“I know what you’re thinking,” I replied, “but sweet girl, that little seed may lack the resemblance of a ripe, red tomato right now, but its inner makeup is what makes it possible to transform into a plant and bear fruit.”

Her curiosity told me that more questions were coming and that maybe it was a good time for a snack at our backyard swing set. With her water bottle in her hand and Cheez-its in her mouth—mid-chew, with crumbs falling everywhere—she paused long enough to ask the questions she had been pondering.

“Mom, are you sure that’s going to be a tomato plant –it’s so tiny!”

I scooted next to her, pulled her closer to me, placed one of those seeds on her leg, and did my best to explain to her something far greater and more important than she was asking.

“You see, baby girl, that seed is still a tomato seed even if it never grows into a tomato plant.”
“But what good is that seed if it doesn’t grow and have tomatoes on it that we can eat,” she asked.

I lowered my gaze to meet those big brown eyes as if to let her know what I was about to tell her I needed her to hear. She waited with intense curiosity, and I responded in the most truthful and accurate way I could by opening my phone to the Bible app and reading her the following verses from Luke 8:5-8 that says:

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

As I stood up and began to walk slowly back to our beautiful garden, which is special for more reasons that I will elaborate on today, I noticed that as my little girl followed by my side, in between her little fingers, she held tightly to that one seed. And with such sincerity, she took the time to clarify for herself what she had just learned.

“So, you're saying that if we don’t plant it in good soil, it will never grow into what it was made to be?”
“Yes, you are absolutely correct” I replied!

 Her wide eyes showed her excitement, and her actions that followed showed her urgency as she walked to her spot in the garden, ran her tiny hands through the prepared soil, used her finger to make a little hole, and for a brief moment, stared at her little tomato seed, placing it perfectly in the center of the hole and gently raking the soil over it with her other hand.

The evidence of pride, hard work, and a good day in the garden was all over her and me as well. Ignoring the dirt, I reached down and held her sweet hand as we began to walk back to the house. And while she thought the seed story had ended, I knew it was far from over.

Filled with emotions that somehow had caught me off guard; I slowed my pace, knelt beside my daughter, and said:

“Here is what I don’t want you to forget. Just like that seed, you were created for a purpose and a reason. You were created in the image of God by God Himself. And I know you are little, but He has put in you what He knows that you need to grow into who He created you to be. So, plant yourself in the good soil. The trodden path may seem convenient and easy, the rocks may seem exciting, and the beautiful thorny bushes may, at first, seem enticing and inviting, but they won’t allow you to grow. Instead, they will hinder and eventually stop you from reaching your potential and producing the fruit you were created to. My angel, take time to learn what good soil is and then look for it. Plant yourself there even when it looks different than the unprepared gardens of others around you! Be patient and persevere because, underneath it all, something amazing is happening because someone greater than us deemed it so. Take good care of that seed by intentionally nurturing it each day. And soon, because of the good soil that you planted it in, you will begin to see evidence of a plant, and as you continue to care for it, there will soon be beautiful fruit that will grow and yield a hundredfold. And that fruit, my love —well, that’s the evidence of what’s inside.”

Joyfully HIS, Jennifer N. Pearson


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