Summer's Bountiful Blessings

Summer is the time when many people escape to sun, sand, and ocean breezes.  I, myself, prefer the serenity of my backyard garden. I never cease to be amazed at how seeds, smaller than a pinhead, turn into bountiful blossoms of beauty.

Looking out my kitchen window, I see vibrant flowers of small and tall varieties dominating the landscape. The rainbow of colors they display are the bees’ and butterflies’ delight. Buzzing and fluttering all day long, they assist in the magic of making my plants produce an abundance of everything.

Want sweet? Juicy red tomatoes await. Deep purple, plump figs will follow. How about something cool? Cucumbers are the answer. Like salsa? Red chilis will spice it up. Can’t forget succulent squash. Used in place of pasta, it provides a lighter way to eat during the dog days of summer.

Harvesting the abundance outside my backdoor, I can’t help but be thankful to God for the elements. Soil, sunshine, and rain were all His doing. I planted, but it’s His miraculous design that made everything grow. It’s an abundance that begs to be shared with others. Showing up with baskets of God’s bounty has blessed me with sipping glasses of iced tea under giant umbrellas and the opportunity for long chats with neighbors I rarely ever spoke to. Sharing my produce is one way to share my faith and “love my neighbor as myself.”

When a lawyer challenged Jesus by asking Him, which is the greatest commandment of the law, Jesus answered him saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-39 (ESV).

I think it’s no coincidence that the way a garden grows is much like what happens when we share our faith. We plant seeds by speaking God’s truthful word to others. We pray diligently and stay connected (the water), but it is God who gives the increase.

1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. (NIV)

Our faithful God has answered my prayers to be able to share my faith with my neighbors. His bountiful harvest has connected me in significant ways, not because I needed friendships but because He desires workers in a harvest that is plentiful.

Jesus tells us, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38

As I labor, a popular Facebook post comes to mind, “We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.” I pray our Heavenly Father softens the hearts of the people we share our faith with so that the seeds we plant are continuously watered with Jesus’ words in order to produce a faith that runs deep. Happy planting!

About the Blogger Yvonne Goodwin is our newest guest blogger with a heart for gardening, raising special needs children and sharing the Word. Read her bio here.


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