expect to reap...

i put this little collage of photos up on instagram/facebook on sunday...

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because i walked out in my yard and saw them for the first time that day. now i had seen the leaves before. about a week ago i had noticed these stalking leaves in various places in my yard. and i had made a mental note, "go out and pull up those weeds soon." but i hadn't done it yet.

which i am really glad about. because those things that looked like unwanted weeds... grew into some fantastically beautiful flowers.

we have lived here for over 10 years. and those have never grown before. and i didn't plant them. (really have you met me? i do many things excellently but i do not garden. or weed. or grow anything green well. in fact most plants that come my way end up committing herbicide. plant suicide. they are that miserable with their little lives.)

so those "weeds" which became flowers reminded me of the lesson of sowing and reaping. and reaping what you sow. which is a very Biblical lesson.

and then there is Grace. reaping what we didn't sow. reaping when we sowed the exact opposite kind of seeds. which is also Biblical.

parenting teenagers has shown me these things to be true...

1) you will reap what you have sown...

good and bad. you will reap good things because by the grace of God you sowed a couple of good things here and there and you will rejoice. and you may become proud. and then you will reap some horrible things because remember that time you sowed some of your own selfishness and anger and other yucky things into the soil. you will reap and cry. and pray for grace to rain down over you and your children.

2) you will sow and sow and sow. and wait and wait and wait...

while everyone else in the entire freaking universe is reaping a crop of amazing fruit you are still scattering seeds and seeing nothing growing at all. you may want to throw in your hoe. and your gardening gloves (and whatever else it takes to garden because i don't even know what else you use)... but you just keep sowing. trusting the law of the harvest and the grace of the Farmer.

3) you will reap things you never sowed...

they make look like weeds today. but take a moment. or a month. or a year. or God forbid, a decade...and they may bloom into something fantastically beautiful. and you had nothing to do with it at all. in fact you know nothing about gardening at all. but you know a Gardener.

there is One who began a good work in a garden. where there was rebellion. One who kept walking from a garden to a cross. after rejection. One who paid for the sins of the world. in a garden of redemption. and One who will walk with us one day. in a perfect Garden of rejoicing. 

rebellion- rejection- redemption- rejoicing.

keep sowing... keep reaping... then do it all again the next day. who knows what will bloom? who knows when it will bloom? the Gardener knows...

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (psalm 1:3)
... to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.  (isaiah 61:3-4)