Every year at springtime, my grandpa and I have a special tradition: We plant a garden.
Gardening includes tilling the ground, planting the seeds, watering the plants, keeping the weeds from destroying the growth of life, and most importantly, consistency. All this effort is put into the harvest season. The planting and growing seasons usually last longer than the harvest season, but without the first two, there would be no third!
Tilling the ground is the first step in gardening. I think this is the easiest, yet my grandpa seems to disagree. It’s probably because he is the one who does most of the tilling! A farmer knows without good soil, there is no point in finishing the process. By tilling the ground, the once-hardened soil loosens as it is tossed back and forth by sharp blades. Tilling also includes removing rocks from the places where you plan to plant. There cannot be rocks and hardened soil where life is supposed to grow. It can be rigorous trying to soften soil, but going through it over and over with sharp blades eventually breaks it.
Planting the seeds comes in two steps: first, digging the holes, and second, preparing the soil with fertilizer. If anyone is looking for a good upper-extremities workout, I highly encourage hoeing some soil. You will not be able to lift your arms past your waist for at least a couple of days! (My perception of pain, however, shoots from a 1 to a 10 really quick . . . haha.)
Digging a hole in soft soil doesn’t sound bad at first, but after 30 holes, you tend to question why you started the garden in the first place!
It’s the hope of harvest that keeps you going.
My grandpa and I will throw a small handful of fertilizer in before we plant the seeds. This helps the life and growth of the plants. It gives what I like to call “extra nourishment.”
The planting season is usually quic, and not too severe. It’s the growing season that will test you on whether the harvest season is worth it or not.
The growing season is where you water and weed out the sticklers that will destroy your life. Watering isn’t too bad when you realize buying a sprinkler from the toy aisle at Wal-Mart and leaving it on for an hour does just as much as you can straining your back bending over for 30 minutes with gallons of water! No gadget from the toy aisle can remove the weeds for you, however: trust me, if there was such a device, I would know by now.
Weeding takes time and consistency. You may think you’ve removed all the weeds, then come to find out, the next day they’re back — and there are more! When you don’t remove the weeds, they will eventually spread through your garden and suffocate the life you once planted. Removing weeds isn’t easy work, but it’s worth it! There has to be consistency after and during the preparation.
In the Bible, David was someone who prepared for a harvest. However, his wasn’t the literal type; it was the spiritual type. In I Chronicles 22, David starts to gather materials to build a temple.
“And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God” (I Chron. 22:2).
Reaping the Harvest
The rest of the chapter explains how David began to collect iron, cedar wood, silver, gold, and the list goes on.
I find this story so invigorating — not because David was preparing for a harvest, but because he knew he wasn’t going to be the one who would reap it. God told David he could not build the temple because David was a man of war and had shed blood. David knew from the start he was not going to be the one who would cut the ribbon on the opening day of the temple. He knew he was not going to be the man who would see the finished product in all its splendor and glory. Yet he made preparations anyways. He knew the next generation was going to reap the blessings from having a house of God in the land. We know this because later on, in 28:8, David tells Solomon the importance of inheritance:
“Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the LORD, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the LORD your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever” (I Chron. 28:8).
As Apostolic ladies, we have such an influence in the way we dress, talk and act. Just like David, the daily sacrifice we make in the lifestyle we choose to live will not only affect us, but it can also affect the next generation to come.
Coming from someone who is an older sister, I want to be an influence on those younger than I am and show them the love of Christ in all I do. I may not see the reaping of the harvest of my actions, but if I can prepare for those younger to reap the harvest, then that is where I find blessing.
Yes, there will be planting and growing seasons that you will be able to reap in the harvest. But there will also be planting and growing seasons where you won’t reap — but your children will! Regardless of whether we see the reaping season or not, as influential Apostolic ladies let’s prepare for a temple to be built!