A few weeks ago, on a beautiful Spring day when God had blessed me with an abundance of energy and a day with little pain, my youngest daughter, Jk, and I decided it was a perfect time to put in our annual porch herb garden. As usual, we cleared out the old soil from all the pots and with fresh, new seeds, and brand new potting soil, we filled the pots and planted all afternoon long. We had pots for our coriander, dill, sage, oregano, parsley, chives, basil, jalepeno peppers, green peppers, cilantro and tomatoes (which I still haven’t gotten a fresh seedling for). My husband also added a potted aloe vera plant to my garden when he gave it to me for Valentine’s Day. We watered each pot after they were planted and set them around the porch where we felt they would be the safest and get the sunlight they needed to grow. That was the beginning of this year’s porch garden.
Sounds like a fairly simple thing to just watch the miracle of creation happen, but we never expected that here weeks later we would see more of a miracle of God’s love happening instead. You see, a couple of years back, my stepson, Zach and his new wife, Lauren came to visit and brought me a beautiful gift. It was a wrought iron cross to set in the yard in a place of my choosing. Zach knows that I love things from the Bible, that remind me of the Lord Jesus, and that speak of my faith to all those around. Althought I’m not Jewish, I’ve always wanted something on my porch near my door that reminded me of one of my favorite verses. It didn’t have to literally say the verse…just remind me and all who entered of the verse. That verse is Joshua 24:15, and says “As for me and my house, We will serve the Lord.” When they gave me the gift, that was the very verse that ran through my head, and I knew that this would set on my front porch from that moment on. I took it outside and set it on a table I had made from an old bulletin board, an old piano bench and tiles, where it has resided since greeting all who step on our porch and enter our home.
The day we planted, we decided not to put any plants on the lower shelves of the bookshelf that I usually keep the plants on, instead deciding to place some on the table with the iron cross to allow them to get more sunshine. Every day my daughter checks the plants and waters them when they need it, but having been relegated to bed by my health issues for the last 2 weeks I hadn’t seen much of them. I didn’t know if she was taking care of them the right way, and knowing she is yet a child I’m sure there were days she missed. This morning I went with my husband to pick up my granddaughter, and was dreading seeing my poor neglected porch garden for the first time in a while, because I had not been able to oversee it like I usually do. Oh, but I had prayed over my porch garden, always telling the Lord that I knew he was watching it for me. So as we closed the front door and stepping out onto the porch, I was pleasantly surprised to see sprigs of greenery everywhere…almost. But in that almost was the story of God’s love and how our lives will be when he is allowed to take care of us. I could tell you what I found happening, but I could never describe to you what I saw better than if I show you the pictures I’ve been taking throughout the last month and the ones of what I saw this morning. So join me as I lead you through My Porch Garden Picture Journal.
Week 1…New soil, new seeds, Planted and Watered.
Week 2…Waiting for Sprouts, Plants Watered and Plenty of Sunshine.
Week 3…Stuck in Bed, and Jk has to take care of the plants. Not as much sunshine but lots of rain this week.
Week 4…Sprouts begin to show.
Week 5…More growth showing for most plants.
Week 6…God’s lesson from the Porch Garden. Notice the plants closest to the cross? That’s right they are growing better than the ones farther from the cross. My poor oregano plant is the farthest from the cross and we haven’t seen but a few weak plants that began to pop through then died out. But my aloe vera plant, dill, and parsley are the closest to the cross and look at how rich and full these plants are!
God’s lesson from my porch garden…When we stay close to our Savior, living in the light of His love and grace then we like these plants will grow in wisdom, stature and in favor with God. I learned a special lesson, that even in my weakness, God answered my prayers for even just something as small as my poor little Porch Herb Garden. When we turn things over to him, the Lord is able to do immeasureably more than we can even imagine.
John 14:11-14…” Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
All I had to do was ask for God’s help with any thing, even this simple little garden and He indeed heard my prayer and did what I asked him to…to care for the plants I could not get down to. But there is a lesson also in the fact that those plants nearest the cross flourished the best.
Proverbs 8:32-35… “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.”
You see, my pots that were nearest the cross seemed to be blessed, and grew lusher and fuller than those that were farther way…in fact, each step away from that cross that a plant sat seemed to show its distance from the cross by how little it grew, until we finally look upon my poor oregano plant that is the fartherst away and just doesn’t seem to be able to thrive and grow at all. Maybe it is time to introduce my poor, suffering oregano plant to the cross of Calvary, and give him to the Lord for a time, so that he may thrive and grow in the care of God as well.