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August 14, 2008

Tomatoe: Plant or Bush?

I kind of had to chuckle today when I saw my tomatoes. I started my own tomatoe seeds for the first time this spring. I was a little apprehensive because I have heard they can be difficult to grow and sometimes turn out spindly. But I grew them, nurtured them, fertilized them, watered them and then compared them to greenhouse tomatoe plants. They did look rather spindly to me. But I transplanted them to my garden any way. After a week or so, I lost faith in my 'less than perfect' tomatoes and went off to the greenhouse to buy a pack of their 'perfect' tomatoes, 'just in case'. Well over time my tomatoes took off and today they are no longer a plant, they are a bush. One continuous bush. And my greenhouse plants? Well they are considerably smaller and not near as healthy looking. So Jennifer and I started the task of giving these bushes a major haircut. Otherwise I suspect those nice green tomaotoes under there will never see a speck of sunlight and will not ripen. Sometimes I think I am this way with my children. I see these spindly little tomatoes, with so much to learn. So many values to take as their own. And I wonder 'how they will turn out?' Will all the years of training, teaching, loving, nurturing bring them up to be big and strong with lots of spiritual growth? Or will they grow tall and spindly without any strength? Now as I look at our older ones and see their love for God, the growth in Him, the character, I know it is possible. It is possible to grow strong, healthy adults. Ones who will be able to stand the pressures of life and stay focused on God. It is possible to see them make choices and know that they are seeking God first and His will for their lives. Glory to God, it is possible! How about you? Have you been fretting about your kids getting older? Have you been dreading the day when they turn a TEENAGER!!!?? Have you lost hope, not daring to even wish that your children will grow up spriritually strong? God promises in His word that if we train up our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 I have heard people use that verse saying it is referring to when children go astray, that they will come back when they are old, after they have sown 'their wild oats' and are finished just 'acting like a teenager'. I don't see that in this verse. I see that when he is old, he will not depart. It doesn't say he will came back, it says he will not depart. I don't buy into the myth of society and even the Church today that it is normal that our children rebel. This thinking has made parents lose hope that there is even a chance that their children will not rebel. The world can make things seem so perfectly natural (kind of like the green house plants) but really it is far from perfect and far from the way God designed it to be. If we are faithful to train our children in the ways of God, they will not depart. They will grow into strong plants, that will bear fruit for God There will be some pruning, and bumps in their road, but if they have been taught of God and His ways, to love Him with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength, and they have been taught to trust in Him no matter what life may bring, they will be the strong plants you have trained them to be. Is it hard work? You bet it is! Does it take lots of prayer for wisdom? Oh ya! Is it worth it. Absolutley :)

So I guess today I want to encourage you to keep on keepin' on. Even though today may have its challenges......it will be worth it in the end :)

Let's join together and build up a generation

that are strong heathly plants for God!

1 comment:

Laura said...

It is hard work, often times people ask why we don't take more time for ourselves because this is our time to work. Not to mention we enjoy our kids and love to be with them. I want the work I do to reflect HIM for this is the most important work we'll ever do...THANKS for the pep talk!!