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Big Trees Small Seeds

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Every seed grows.

In the midst of everyday life, seeds are planted.  A lot of the time — perhaps most of the time — we don’t even notice the seeds that are planted.  Ideas. Pictures. Envy. Desires. Regrets. Pride. Shame. Hope. Doubt.  All sorts of seeds drop, drop, drop into the soil of our lives.  Good seeds, bad seeds… whatever they are, they grow.  The more we feed them, the more they grow.

Interestingly, we might believe the only things we plant are things we intend to grow — you know, like seeds that are purposely planted in gardens or containers.  We may start seeds in a greenhouse; using small pots, we cultivate the soil, plant and water the seeds, we shelter and watch them grow — not disturbing them until they’re well rooted and strong.  All this, intentionally done to ensure vigorous growth and rich produce.

Using this picture to draw an analogy, this is sort of what happens in our lives when we consciously plant seeds for God’s glory and our good — seeds that pertain to life and godliness through knowledge of the Lord.  Seeds of faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience,  wisdom, godliness, kindness and love.  Good seeds.

But other sorts of seeds grow, too. Bad seeds…. little seeds we overlook.  And though we wouldn’t want to admit we seem to intentionally do things that plant, feed and water bad seeds, the produce and unintended consequences are unmistakable.  If we sow seeds of envy or jealousy or greed or lust, we’re going to reap a tangled harvest of regret, shame, bitterness, discontent and death.   We don’t set out to be bitter or discontent or angry — in fact, we may say we despise those sinful behaviours.  But unless we guard against “little seeds” of envy, jealousy, lust, a critical spirit or hate taking root in our lives, we’re going to be discontent, bitter, mean and destructive.  All of these will spill over into all areas of our lives and damage everyone around us.

I’m reminded over and over again from the pictures the Lord gives us in nature, and drawing from experiences in my own life, that seeds grow — some rapidly, some slowly, some intentionally and some unintentionally planted, but they all grow — they all produce something.
One type of tree or another will grow and symbolize our lives: fruitful and healthful or bitter and poisonous.   One will be life giving and comforting and the other will be oppressive and bring death.  Big trees start from very small seeds.

I look out the window and see all sorts of strong, beautiful, vigorous plants in well watered gardens. But I also see the glaring consequences of not regularly tending the gardens this year: weeds.  I obviously didn’t but should’ve been pulling them along the way since I’m so familiar with their deep roots, the damage they cause and how difficult they are to eliminate once they’re this mature.

It’s humbling to see that every seed grows… good and bad, and it’s painful to recognize weeds and bad seeds that have taken root in my heart.  So all these observations today have served to be instructive and a powerful reminder — I’m instructed to examine what I’m taking in each day, what I’m allowing to be planted in the “garden of my mind,”  to see if there be any root of bitterness in me, to see if I’m harbouring jealousy or pride or envy, to see if I am critical or rude or boasting, and also to see if there are springs of joy and gladness, to see if the fruit of gratitude is flowing from a thankful heart, to see if faith is flourishing, to see if love is being cultivated.  Painful as it seems sometimes, I must allow the Master Gardener to continue pruning and working His perfect will in my life.  This I know: the fruit of His work is sweet.

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.