As planting season approaches, I think about the year that Annie, John Scott, Buffy, and I tackled planting a garden. The children were all small and I have to admit that sometimes their “help” made things a bit more difficult.
We chose a spot in the backyard. We raked clear all the winter debris, we dug up the ground with a shovel (or rather I dug up the ground with the shovel), we used the steel rake to smooth out the area and we watered the ground to make it ready to plant.
Next we bought seed. At the store, the packages of seed were displayed on revolving steel racks. Annie was a beginning reader but all three children could tell what seeds were in each package by the pictures on the packages. Green beans, yellow squash, peas, okra, dark green watermelons and nice long orange carrots covered individual seed packages. Photographs of pumpkins looked colossal and cucumbers appeared thick and juicy.
I wasn’t an expert in horticulture but I knew one thing: if I planted watermelons, watermelons grew instead of cantaloupes. If I planted carrots, we would dig carrots and not radishes. Why? Seed always reaps its own kinds. That’s one of God’s physical laws.
Consider the law of gravity. Gravity means that every object is pulled toward the center of the earth. I know that if I jump off my house, I will seriously hurt myself because gravity pulls me to the earth. God’s physical laws are all around us, affecting us directly or indirectly. Those laws determine consequences of actions. While we may attempt at times to ignore them, the laws are consistent and are always in place.
God’s spiritual laws are just as consistent as his physical laws. Jesus affirmed a spiritual law by using the example of vines and fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, then you will produce much fruit.” (John 15:5) Jesus also said: “You can tell what they are by what they do.” (Matt. 7:16)
The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.” If I am what I say I am, I will love that person, the one that is so unlovable, through my actions. I will be joyful with bedrock of joy even when circumstances in life are difficult. I will be comforted, knowing the peace that transcends all hardships. I will be long-suffering and “go the extra mile” when I don’t think I can take another step. I will not be harsh but gentle in all my dealings, my talk, and my relationships. The goodness of God will flow through me in all my everyday actions. In meekness, I will display a “bridled strength.” In temperance, I will have control over all my habits.
When we planted those watermelon seeds that year, vines grew producing watermelons in abundance. We planted a few carrots and dug bunches and bunches of carrots. Not only did we reap in kind, but also we reaped far more than we sowed.
If God is in control of my life, I will produce fruits in abundance that are a product of what I really am and who really controls my life. What kind of fruit are you producing today?
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: