I open the back door and turn down our little path covered by the shade of trees toward the hose. I pull on the hose that was wound tightly around the wheel, the wheel that should make unraveling and winding up that hose easy. It doesn’t. As I turn on the water, I get sprayed all over my arm, water leaking out where the hose and the spigot join; the spigot needs to be replaced.
And then I turn, ready to water the garden. Just like a little kid, I excitedly made my way to that garden every day, eager to see what new green growth has sprouted. But this particular day I stop short.
Where there used to be cute green sprouts contained in their designated area in front of the tomato cages, there are now these crazy, wild leaves creeping their way onto the neighboring plants. I cannot take my eye off the three mounds sprouting squash, cucumber, and zucchini.
They look reckless and not at all what I imagined. I had imagined these green plants would develop their leaves and vines and work their way down the mounds, filling out the space in between. Instead, these plants have swelled in one night thanks to a little rain and are blocking the view of my tomato plants. They have not grown merely side-to-side like I think they should; instead, they are taking over every inch of space anywhere near the vicinity of their mounds, sprawling into the herb garden and the growth behind them.
Their huge elephant ear-looking leaves are overshadowing the pepper plants. There are so many of these leaves I actually have to bend down and peer in their cover to find the fruit that is growing within.
And I don’t like it. My garden no longer looks neat. It doesn’t look contained. It’s wild and out of control. I no longer trust that my garden will produce the harvest for which I had hoped.
My faith so easily wavers; I am distracted by the largeness of the plants, their wildness, that I can’t see the promise of fruit. I don’t like the process He has determined is required for growth. I have decided that I know better than the Maker.
But the True Gardener interrupts my thoughts. He takes my eyes off the mounds in front of me and allows me to see the bigger picture.
He reminds me that His ways are not my ways; He has created order, but order doesn’t always look neat. He reminds me of His Son, and the jagged path that He walked, a path that was messy, full of betrayal and heartache.
A path that brought redemption. A path that brought beauty. A path that brought eternal life.
He reminds me that there is beauty in the messy process, and to grow, the leaves must stretch outside the boundaries I have created. And He promises that if I allow Him to grow the plants as He intended, they will bear much fruit.
And the fruit. Oh, the fruit! When we allow the Maker to grow the garden as He designed, He will never disappoint.