The seed dies to spring forth into new life, and in this we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who love God will live again in the Eden above. Of the human body laid away to molder in the grave God has said, “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” 1 Corinthians 15:42, 43.
Such are a few of the many lessons taught by nature’s living parable of the sower and the seed. As parents and teachers try to teach these lessons, the work should be made practical. Let the children themselves prepare the soil and sow the seed. As they work, the parent or teacher can explain the garden of the heart with the good or bad seed sown there, and that as the garden must be prepared for the natural seed, so the heart must be prepared for the seed of truth. As the seed is cast into the ground, they can teach the lesson of Christ’s death; and as the blade springs up, they can teach the lesson of the truth of the resurrection. As the plants grow, the correspondence between the natural and the spiritual sowing may be continued.
I love cilantro. I like the grassy undertone it gives to fresh pico de gallo. I especially enjoy whole cilantro leaves scattered throughout a green salad-yum! Several in my family do not share my enthusiasm for cilantro. It’s not that they have unrefined palates, it’s just that to them cilantro tastes bitter and soapy. It’s a genetic thing. That’s okay, more for me!
My cilantro plant has served me well all winter long, happily sharing bucket space with a few slow-growing leeks. Now that we are on the leading edge of summer, my cilantro plant has decided to bolt. It has shot up in ragged fashion and started to produce flowers. It is going to seed. That is to be expected, as cilantro is a cool-season herb.
It is tempting to pull the cilantro plant and trash it, as its leaves are no longer tender and tasty. Compared to my basil, thyme, and oregano, this poor plant is a mess. Get rid of it!
If I trashed the plant now, I’d miss out on a blessing. Did you know that cilantro is the name of the leaves, but the plant is actually coriander? Yes, the spice coriander! If I let the plant continue going to seed, I will be able to get a small harvest of coriander seed.
Don’t stop now cilantro! Keep bolting, keep growing!
Some days I feel like cilantro- ragged and leggy compared to the ‘beauty’ around me. But then I remember that God has a purpose for my life. He wants me to keep going, keep growing. If I allow Him to, God will produce a beautiful harvest in me. I’ll be coriander! Praise the Lord, He’s not finished with me yet.
All winter long I made grand bean-growing plans. Come spring, I was going to have an abundance of fresh tender green pods. After looking over my seed stash, I made my choices. My planting list both bush and pole flat Romano beans as well as pole yard-long beans .
Beans generally have one of two types of growing habits: bush or pole. Bush beans grow with a bushy habit, usually no more than 2 ft tall. Bush beans will occasionally send out tendrils, but don’t need the support of a trellis. Pole beans, on the other hand, can easily grow to 6 to 8 ft tall- even more if growing conditions are optimal. Pole beans feature lots of vining tendrils that will grab whatever support it can find to help it climb.
In late winter I erected a cattle panel trellis for the pole beans. I prepared the soil at the foot of the trellis for planting. Soon it was warm enough for bean germination. I planted pole Romano beans on one side of the trellis and pole yard-long beans on the other side. And then I waited. Nothing. In the meantime I planted bush Romano beans. The bush beans germinated and popped through the soil. Pole beans, nothing. After amending the soil a second time, I replanted another set of both pole beans, thinking perhaps I had used seed that was too old. I waited, and again nothing. I planted one side a third time with pole Romano beans. Still nothing. Strange! Meanwhile the bush Romano beans grew quickly, began to flower and produce beans.
I planted a fourth packet of beans on one side of the trellis, this time a packet of traditional green beans- Blue Lake pole beans. On the other side, I planted an old packet of cucumbers. For fun, I threw out a few nasturtium seeds. Amazingly, everything in the 4th planting germinated!
In a few weeks my trellis will be filled with a wild mix of edible flowers, cucumbers and beans. I think I will like this crazy mix even more than what I originally had planned. What if I had given up after the first packet of seeds did not come up?
I wanted something to grow on my DIY trellis so badly that I just kept planting and planting until I achieved success. I just kept going.
This experience with pole beans has given me much food for spiritual thought. I need to have this same determination in my walk with Christ and my witness for Him. My quest for a Christ-like character can’t stop at the first sign of discouragement. I must keep going, keep trying, keep persevering! I need to keep planting seeds of His Love everywhere I go. Amending the soil of hardened hearts in those I encounter with kindness and unselfish service. This is not the time to quit. Keep planting!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
“Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour’s feet…. He … still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother.”