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Spiritual growth is in His hands

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POSTED: March 14, 2011 12:39 p.m.

It is not yet officially spring, but we can see the signs. Flowers and trees are budding. Grass is greening up. And some of us have started to plant a few things in the garden. I have planted broccoli, onions, cabbage and potatoes. To date, everything looks good, except I have yet to see any evidence of potatoes.
This is the first time I have ever planted potatoes. I don’t know what to look for, nor do I know exactly when to look for them. I have asked my dad and a gentleman in my church what I should expect. But until I actually see the vines come up through the dirt, I will be in the dark. And even then I will not know exactly when to “pick” the potatoes.
You see, if you don’t know it, potatoes grow underground. You cannot look on the vine to see if they are ripe. You have to scratch around in the dirt and then dig them up to see them.
I always have enjoyed planting a garden. There is something about homegrown vegetables that just tastes better.
But I also love to watch things grow. There is something very fascinating about placing a seed in the ground and then harvesting food from the resulting plant in a few months.
I am convinced that the vegetable garden is a lot like my life. You see, I work hard in my vegetable garden. I plow, plant, fertilize, water and weed that garden on a regular basis. But in reality, I cannot make anything grow. I am convinced that is the work of God. He has created a wonderful world that works in mysterious ways.
Now, I know the botanist can explain how the seeds germinate and how the vegetables are produced, grown and ripened. But there still is much that is mysterious to the eye.
In my life, I can do a lot of things to grow closer to the Lord. I can read my Bible, pray regularly, attend worship with other believers and seek to live in a godly manner. But it is God who ultimately saves me and makes me what he wants me to be. I must work, but the result is in God’s hand.
One wise person put it this way: “Work as if everything depends on you. Pray as if everything depends on God.” That is a good philosophy for living, though I may have written them backwards. We probably should pray first and then work.
Either way, we must realize that without God, we can do nothing. But in his strength, we can do great things.

 

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