Springtime was teasing me with the odd good day and then a blast of arctic air to discourage me. My seeds sat patiently on the counter awaiting the warmth of spring before I put them in the ground. I, however, was not so patient.
Hoping to get a jump on the growing season, I purchased some peat pods to start my seeds growing. I only had to add water to the pods and presto, instant seed-germinating environment inside the warmth of my house during the night and out on my front deck during the day.
The water engorged peat pods looked like small chocolate muffins that I put in old muffin tins. But in the beginning, all I achieved from the process was to have a good source of conversation for people coming to my front door. “So, uh, are you just airing out your burnt muffins?” was the most frequent comment.
Eventually I began to tire of their witty reactions, and wondered if in fact I was going to be successful at all. A few kale and basil plants surfaced in the form of tiny sprouts. But my long anticipated scarlet runner beans had not made an appearance of any sort.
Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. After almost two weeks of devotedly watering them everyday, and transferring them in and out of our house, I had to see what had become of the huge seeds. I refused to babysit them if they’d just rotted in the peat pods. So I gently unearthed one. What I saw shocked me. There were many tiny roots spreading underneath the seed, laying its foundation for growth. The sprout was still forming inside the puffed up seed. I was gratified to know that there was indeed life for my efforts, but had I killed the poor little thing by unearthing it? I quickly covered it up again. In a few days, the rest of the scarlet runner seeds poked up sturdy little sprouts, but the one I’d unearthed only produced a pathetic runt of a seedling that took a long time to amount to anything.
Many times I do the same thing with my prayer life. I lay my prayers and requests at God’s feet, but then when I don’t see instant results, I take them back, and set about solving them on my own.
When God promised Abram (later known as Abraham) that even though he and his wife Sarai (later known as Sarah) were old, they would eventually have an heir. Genesis 15:5b …”Look up at the heavens and count the stars, if indeed you can count them” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Abram’s wife was not convinced, so she took things into her own hands. She told Abram to try and conceive an heir with their maidservant. The product of this joining was a son who was named Ishmael. But this son later proved to be a handful.
Genesis 16:12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
God sometimes needs to lay the groundwork before he answers a prayer, like the unseen roots spreading from my bean seeds. Perhaps the groundwork is in the form of lessons we must learn, or is simply a faith challenge to trust His promises. Either way, to jump in and disrupt this process could produce stunted results, or none at all!
So, what things have you laid at God’s feet and then taken back? And how did it turn out?