Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Miracle of the Tomato Stick

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful and healthy sun-gold tomato plant. It promised to produce sweet, orange, cherry-sized fruit. So, the gardener planted it in his desert garden. Sunny grew tall and became bushy and made the gardener very happy as he awaited the harvest.

One day, a strong wind blew through the garden, bending and breaking one of Sunny’s branches. When the gardener found the bare, five inch long piece of stem, he thought of throwing it into the mulch pile, but instead thrust the broken stem into the soil near another plant.

The gardener watered his plants faithfully and gave them fertilizer. He watched the “tomato stick,” waiting for it to die. Then, the gardener would add it to the mulch pile in the garden. But the “tomato stick” did not die. It stayed green, and the gardener began to notice bumps on the stem.

Weeks later, the gardener saw a small stem on the “tomato stick”. A few days after that, the stem had a leaf on it. But the “tomato stick” was still near another plant in the soil. The gardener knew that he would have to move the “tomato stick” if it was going to be given the opportunity to grow.

So the gardener dug up the “tomato stick” and transplanted it into another part of the garden. He watered it and fertilized it and watched it grow another stem, another leaf, another stem, another leaf, until it became a beautiful and healthy sun-gold tomato plant.

Son of Sunny, formerly known as the “tomato stick,” now lives in the ground where the gardener planted him. The gardener is very happy watching him grow as he awaits the harvest.

Do you find that God often works like this? He takes our brokenness and makes us whole, beautiful and fruitful. Sometimes He uproots us or prunes us away from what is familiar and puts us in the dirt somewhere else. But He always feeds and waters us, caring for us, joyfully watching us grow. If you feel like you're being pruned and need some encouragement, check out John 15.

By the way, this "tomato stick" actually lives in my garden. And, as of this morning, has 3 buds on it that are getting ready to flower. The Lord often uses my garden to teach me things about Himself. What does He use to teach you?

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