Plant, Water, Wait

Plant, Water, Wait by Jennifer Sienes

One of fifteen bush bean plants

When Chris and I prepare to plant our summer garden, we go down to the local nursery and pick up the basics: Tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant and basil. Often, we try something a little different—this year is was spaghetti squash and green beans by seed. We’re never quite sure how things will turn out. We can control only so much and have to leave the rest up to God.

There’s something connecting about planting a vegetable garden. The idea that you can stick a plant in the ground and end up with beautiful edible bounty just amazes me. On the weekends, when work schedules don’t prevail, we like to take our cup of coffee down and see how things are progressing. I do a little weeding and Chris does a little extra watering.This year, less than a month after we planted the garden, we went on a 17-day vacation/business trip. We made sure we had a reliable sprinkler system armed with timers. One failed setup and we’d lose a fourth of our crop. Everything was growing well—the zucchini plants were taking over the beds (as they always do), the green beans were sprouting and everything else was flowering. Somehow, we’d forgotten that we planted spaghetti squash, as that plant resembled the zucchini.

Our first morning home, bleary-eyed from getting in at 2:30 a.m. we took our coffee and headed down to the garden. It was immediately obvious that what we thought was a zucchini plant wasn’t—it was trailing over the edges of the garden box and choking out the only other occupant—a small tomato plant. But more surprising was there were more than a dozen respectable-sized spaghetti squash—ready for the picking!Everything appeared to be doing well, except the green beans. The plants looked wimpy, kind of leaning over, and there were no buds. “Might as well quit watering that bed,” Chris told me. I reminded him that we had basil in there, too. The next day, I went out to do a little weeding—that bed in particular had gotten out of hand. I pushed aside one of the bean plants to get hold of a weed and to my great surprise and delight, several full-size beans were hanging from it, hidden from sight. I checked the other plants, and the same thing. How could we have missed it?

Later I thought about how God’s work in us can be the same. We struggle along, looking kind of wimpy and unproductive, but He’s doing something in the midst of it. Maybe He’s working on our character, preparing us to produce in ways we didn’t know we could. We’re all a work in progress—some farther along than others. And if we give up on those who don’t seem to be producing much, then we can cut them down before they’ve had the chance to thrive. Like my green beans, they need special attention and a lot of patience—but in the end, they might just surprise us.

Plant, Water, Wait - Jennifer Sienes

How does your garden grow? Our one spaghetti squash plant is taking over!

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