I've learned two things from my little plants this week. The first thing I've learned is that plants mature at different times and require different tending to mature. My squash is going crazy and I've had to do very little to encourage it. I planted it, water it and it has sunlight. Whereas my tomatoes have needed closer tending. I've had to prune them regularly and give them the support of tomato cages. And while I have little green tomatoes growing they're taking longer to mature than the squash, even though they were planted at the same time. Those are just two examples, but all of my plants have grown at different rates and have different needs.
The other thing I've learned is that no matter how beautiful the fruit produced on a plant you still have to pick it. What a waste if the vegetables and herbs are never harvested. The day I came back from the trip my squash plants were full. I picked a basket of them and then again this morning there are several more squash needing harvesting. If I don't do it no one else will and they will rot and be wasted.
I think those are truths in life as well. We mature and grow at different speeds in the church. I'm not talking about believing different things, those are weeds that grow up among us and that's different. I'm talking about people rooted in truth and growing in grace. Sometimes we get impatient forgetting that we mature at different speeds and that some people need more attention than others. Grace is necessary. Those with a more mature faith must bear with, teach, support, encourage, and pray for those whose maturing process needs it. And lest we become prideful we should remember there's always someone bearing with us.
As we've been patient with each other, developing spiritual maturity, we must remember to harvest. If the fruit we, and others, produce isn't used it's wasted. People who have learned to encourage should encourage for the good of the body, those who teach should teach, those gifted at serving should serve, etc. If you know God has equipped you don't shrink back, bless the body with the nourishment that comes from using your gift for their good. And if you see a young Christian needing confidence to share their gift come alongside of them and show them how.
I love learning from my little garden. I'm amazed how time working in the dirt does my heart good. If you've had a garden what lessons have you learned from it?