We have lived in our current home for just about 7-1/2 years. We bought it from a gentleman who had beautiful plantings around the house and we have added a perennial bed in addition to several other improvements during our time here. Janet and I are both fans of perennials that come up year after year, but we have a fondness for annuals as well. They are vibrant in color and some of them have very unusual shapes. My personal favorites are the small moss roses – annuals that I have loved since I was a boy – and they come in a variety of colors that welcome people as they come up the driveway toward the front door.
Janet has a particular fondness for geraniums and this year they are the choice for the front beds of the house as people drive by. We have such a happy front yard, full of plants and Janet is diligent about going out each day to deadhead and make sure that the geraniums look their best. Each year we have chosen a different theme for the yard and it has become quite an event to plant the yard each spring.
But now, we are almost one third of the way from Memorial Day to Labor Day. July 4th is in the rearview mirror and we are in the height of the growing season. For the first time in many years, we are also using Miracle Grow on our flower beds and I have to say that it has made a difference. Things are absolutely flourishing. So… our heavy plantings in addition to careful attention, pruning, weeding and insect control have made this one of the top growing seasons that we have had in years.
Everywhere you look, there are colors, interesting shapes and we even have two tomato plants on the back deck. To be perfectly honest, the tomatoes aren’t my finest hour. I paid $13 for the plants and so far, we have exactly 2 tomatoes – that’s about $6.50 per tomato. I was hoping for greater success and I even went to the hardware store earlier this week to see if I could add to our extremely small garden. I decided against it – nothing looked all that good this late in the season.
Back when Janet and I lived in northwest suburban Chicago, we had an awesome garden. We grew every imaginable vegetable. We even canned things, made pickles, rhubarb, grew many types of berries and had a great time – when Kristin was very young would go back in the yard and work with me. Those were the days – we had a garden of more than 2400 square feet.
When I look back at all the annuals, perennials, roses, trees and every other kind of growing thing I have planted and nurtured throughout the years, it is truly remarkable to think that they were all created by God. All similar but so very different in their own ways. And I have just worked with an incredibly small number of plants compared to what God has created.
When I think about my childhood and all the work I had to do around the yard for Dad, and also Grandpa, I learned about the seasons and many different plants. Dad had a beautiful rose garden and Grandpa liked Chinese lantern plants. Everywhere I turned, somebody was teaching me something about some kind of plant.
Tonight’s verse highlights how important the plants are to God – and compares them to how much more important we are to God. We are told in the first chapter of Genesis that on day 3, God created the plants and that He saw that it was good. The theme of Genesis is “forming and filling.” So God formed the earth and then He filled it with animals and vegetation.
The good doctor Luke tells us, in Luke 12:27-29, “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.”
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to take care of and appreciate His creation. We are stewards of everything that He has entrusted to our care. My prayer is that we will take a little extra time to appreciate the plants in our own yards as we reflect on God’s plan for the lilies of the field and all the other living beings that God has created. And by the way, we are not to worry! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…