I had a garden once. It was right on the side of the garage of our family home in Buffalo, New York. There was a brown gable roof that covered our garage which by default prevented the sun from allowing anything to grow along its side. It was always so "dead looking" right there. There was like this imaginary line drawn in our backyard. Where there was sun, there was grass. Under the gable roof of the garage, there was no sun and no-thing.
I was a little entrepreneur as a kid! I was like 4 with my own business. I would clean homes, sell items that my mom's patients would send to our house as gifts for me (horrible I know, I was young), rake leaves, sweep sidewalks-- whatever I could do to get some money. What was I going to spend it on? CANDY, duhhhh!
Every Friday I would go to my Aunt Diane's house, and my "Halbert Street Homies" and I would walk to the corner store that sat right on Dewy & Fillmore. I would use all the money I had earned to buy candy and rainbow flavored ice cream! Well, one Friday, before going over Aunt Diane's my Poppa and I took a trip to Home Depot! As we were walking in I saw a display that solved "The Problem".
The sign read "Grows in shade"! It was a display filled with packets of flower seeds that grew in the dark-- well shade🙃! What a brilliant idea! My problem was solved. I decided that my candy and ice cream money would go towards buying some of these special seeds! I picked up all kinds of flowers! They were different colors, heights, types, but all beautiful! When we got to the register, we realized that I was a little short in the area of finances. I had a great vision for my soon to be garden but not enough money. That's when my poppa stepped in a made the difference.
That day, I asked if it was ok if I stayed home instead of going over Aunt Diane's. I mean I didn't have money to buy ice cream and candy anyway lol. My mom and dad agreed, and I began my work.
I sat on the imaginary grass-dirt line and placed the packages of flower seeds right where I wanted each to grow. I read the instructions and soon learned that each were slightly different. Some had to go down deeper than others, and some required different amounts of water. I had to change some of the positions of the flowers based on their needs! Before planting them I had to get the ground ready. I moistened the dirt with a little water that was infused with sort of miracle grow ingredient that my mom used in her flowers. I also grabbed the gardening hoe and worked my little muscles to mush prepping the ground for my little garden. I did the best any 7 year old could have done.
Now it was time to plant the seeds. I neatly dug holes, dropped in some seeds, covered them in dirt, stared at my big patch of soil proudly and went inside.
I came out the next couple of days, and nothing significant happened. I wasn't discouraged at all because my mom had been gardening for years, and I had just aced my 2nd grade test on photosynthesis so I was pretty familiar with the process! But betcha-by-golly wow, about 14 days later, just like the package said I saw something. It was almost nothing, but it was still something!
I told everybody that I saw about my garden. I saw my neighbor, Reverend Ware come home one day, and yelled for him to come to the fence to look at my garden. He had just left his church after a long day of work, but still came. I know he had to say within himself "there's nothing there", but he told me I did a good job! Sooner than later, I had a wonderful garden and couldn't have been more proud.
We went on family vacation for a couple of days and when I came back there were tall weeds all over my garden. I was devastated! They were choking my work of art. I tried to pull one up but when I did I ended up pulling up one of my flowers! You would have thought that was the end of the world for me. My mom ended up coming out and using her expertise to help me rescue my garden. She explained that I needed to frequently spray weed killer where I saw the weeds coming up to ensure the roots would die. As much as I wished that it was a one time fix, it wasn't. Occasionally I had to go back and address my weed issue. What I couldn't seem to understand was, there were no weeds here before I planted my garden. Matter of fact, there was nothing there. What about my flowers was attracting weeds?
I feel like I'm planting a garden again. I'm here in a predominately Hindu country that acts like the gable roof over the hearts of people; refusing to let the SON shine in! Because of that, it's "dead looking". Hindu temples, every couple of blocks; even in the poorest of poor villages, elaborate Hindu altars and statues are erected. Small children harass you to give money to their God that they tote around the streets cushioned in ragged and worn boxes. Mosques stand tall and erect, as thousands of devout Muslims gather for worship. Offerings, sacrifices, and worship are being given to a God that can't save them, heal them, deliver them, and unknowingly they walk around spiritually dead. My heart cries because they are lost; unaware that there is a sweet sweet Savior that wants so desperately for them to accept Him only.
I asked God, "How can I convince people to eat that say they aren't hungry? How can I get them to want you like I do?" He told me to do something so simple, it almost didn't seem right. He told me "...just plant one seed at a time... I can make things grow in the dark".
Some of you may be looking at what seems like a patch of dirt! No matter how much you've tried you just can't seem to get things going, or get them right. Maybe you’re praying for a loved one that is lost, or you could be hoping for promotion or a raise on your job. Others maybe looking at your life and finding yourself getting overwhelmed by all of your underachievement’s. Maybe your reading this and you just feel stuck-- no other words-- just stuck! Well friends I have a message for you! Jesus is the seed you need! He can take your shame, embarrassment, wayward child, estranged spouse and make something beautiful grow out of darkness. With his power he can defy the odds. I mean seriously, look at you! You really shouldn't be living right now. Maybe a car accident, cancer, an abusive relationship, or several suicide attempts should have already taken you out of here! But look at you growing in the dark! The enemy may have turned the lights out on you, but there is a phenomenon that occurs in plants. They grow toward s the light. Keep growing baby, and grow towards that light. It doesn't matter how you started. Your roots may have begun in an unplanned pregnancy, or in swamped by consequences of your bad decisions, but God is calling you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
I am no longer discouraged by what I see here in India. I see people who are walking in darkness, but now I have a revelation that beautiful things grow in the dark! Many before me have prepped the ground over the years, watering it with prayers and fasting, making it easier for the seed to be planted. I'll keep shining my light, and I'm sure they will grow this way! I'll keep sharing my gospel message, and loving on them everyway that I can. I'm planting, and trusting God to give the increase. When I fall short, and don't have everything that's needed, I know my heavenly father will step in and make up the difference. When the enemy tries to come in and choke out my seed, I’ll use my spiritual weed killer, and trample his plans. I'm determined to plant this garden, one soul/ seed at a time!
I had a garden once, it was filled with flowers... God just gave me another, but this one will be filled with souls.