Green-bean Grace

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV


A few months ago I wrote about my “NASA project” of making a garden.  The point then was how I couldn’t merely do a simple, put-together-garden—no, I had to make a full production of it.


Flash a few months forward and I am reaping the harvest, baby!


Just the other night I picked my very first EVER watermelon.  We had a little celebration, took some pictures, I alerted the extended family…and so on, and so on. The idea of the whole garden-to-table evolution is downright exhilarating (doesn’t take much these days!).


And in this garden of mine, I stand in the cool of the morning and twilight of the dusk, watering and gazing over all that is sprouting and producing.  I examine the corn stalks, and the tomato plants and the meandering cantaloupes.  I take in the whole picture and smile at the progress.


But there has been one plant… one plant that is different.


A lone green-bean seedling.


It is stunted with only a few leaves.  It is different from the rest in the row.  It seems to be struggling.


I water it.  I give it natural enrichments.  I keep it protected.


I do everything to that one plant the same as I do to the others.  Yet it is struggling to grow.


It causes me concern.  It causes me angst. It makes me worry that it might not survive.


Photo: Renae Bowman

Obviously vastly different in our makeup, yet I can see myself in that little plant.  God looked upon me many years back with the same eyes and I’m sure wondered, “Is she going to make it? Will you come back to me daughter?”


“If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.” Matthew 18:13-14 NIV


I can so see this verse come alive in my little backyard garden. I’m wondering if you can too?


I truly am worried about that plant.  I know the others are doing well, they’re healthy, they’re solid, and they’re producing—yet one, one at the end of the row isn’t.  I don’t want it to perish. My focus is on it.


And as the gardener, I have to ask, “why?”


What am I doing wrong? What more can I do to make it grow?


Yet, there could be 1000’s of reasons why that plant isn’t making it.


Isn’t that like us with Jesus?


God provides, but so many of us give a thousand reasons to not follow Jesus?  Or better yet, to only follow Him at an arms distance—not really surrendering our hearts?


Have you heard these reasons?  Have you said these?  I most definitely have.

–I don’t want to be one of “those” Christians.

–I like my life the way it is.

–I’ve messed up wayyyy too much, I can never go to Him.

–I’ve been gone too long, what’s the use?

–Jesus isn’t real.


Yet, the verse above tells us He anguishes over just one that is lost. Just one, who uses some of these “reasons” to stay away.  Are you the one that He is grieving over today?


Oh, my dear siblings.  Today you have a choice.  Today you can accept all the gifts from the Father to stay alive and abundant.  But you also have a choice to eventually wilt and then be cast out of the garden.  Two very distinct choices—but choices nonetheless that only you can make.


God is doing his part.  He is doing everything he can to set you up for eternal life.  Look around.  He is giving you everything you need to make that choice.  And He even gave His only son on a cross—just for you.


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” John 15:1 NIV


I’m new to this gardening feat but I am doing my best.  I’m making mistakes and learning as I go, but my mission is to keep each and every one of those plants flourishing.  I’m going to fail miserably in that area but there is One who never will.  That, you can be sure of .


There is Hope.  There is always Hope!  God wants you to live.  He wants to see you thrive. He wants you with him in Heaven when the time comes.  He wants his garden full of blossoming, vibrant, healthy plants He calls his children.  But you have to accept what the Gardener provides.  He’s doing His part, will you do yours?





One Reply

  1. Great post Raye! Good analogy & it really made me think of how God prunes us so we grow and thrive in Him. Awesome!

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