I love gardening. I’m not great at it, and I don’t spend as much time as I should on mine personally, but the idea of growing veggies for my family, canning them for the winter, watching life flourish, and knowing the accomplishment from it that only God can give, is fascinating to me. Creation!

Growing up on our family farm in Southern Oklahoma, we had huge gardens every year. You name the veggie, we grew it. And being a farmers daughter, I enjoyed sitting on my daddy’s tractor while he plowed and sowed seeds to harvest later in the Spring or Fall. Watching the little leaves begin to sprout out of the ground was especially exciting. I can still remember taking sticks and poking the dirt around struggling leaves so they could be freed from the heaviness of all the dirt toppling them. Many memories flood my mind when thinking of all my daddy’s work. I am very thankful for them all.

When I think of those struggling leaves, I see myself as one of them. I see others, as well. Aren’t we all struggling leaves, or once upon a time? Surrounded by heavy dirt? Especially those of us that have been given the idea and story of Jesus Christ. As we begin to grow in our faith, we continue to be burdened with the dirtiness of our sin. Darkness surrounds us. Finally, we poke our heads out of the ground and see the Light. The Light that is Jesus! It’s as if Jesus himself is the one with the stick; poking the dirt around us, unloading all the heaviness so we can take that final deep breath of freedom. We are free indeed! He gives us strength, and we throw our little leaf-hands in the air and rejoice and praise His beautiful name. Being unburdened and able to grow freely towards Him, as we bury our roots deeper in the ground, growing further and further away from the dirt that once suffocated us. Now we are able to withstand any storm or forceful wind. The thought of it gives me chills.

I encourage you all, no matter your life’s circumstances, plant seeds of Jesus. Praise Him in the good and in the bad. Let others see God in your valleys and on your mountaintops. Plant seeds that Jesus can grow and nourish. Don’t let a day go by that you miss an opportunity to help in the releasing of “dirt” that others are being burdened and shamed with. Be used by God today!

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