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Listen while you read: "No Never Alone"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 8:15 – But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (NIV)

Almost daily, the neighbour twins run over to my house to check the fruit seeds that we have planted in broken mugs in the kitchen window. We've had one success so far: the soursop seed grew to be a foot-and-a half tall before we transplanted it beside the banana plantation in the village. Living in Uganda is not always easy, and in the northern part, the fruits are not so diverse, so we are trying to plant some variety.

"Auntie Karen, is it there yet? Can we see anything green?"

The boys have learned to dig for nice brown soil, and they know how deep to plant the seeds, but patience for five-year-olds is tough. They want to see a plant grow now. Thankfully though, every day, they get super excited about a tiny new green speck in the dirt.

I'm glad that they have the joy and energy to wait two years before even tasting the fruit of the soursop tree.

2 Timothy 2:6 – The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. (NIV)

And I'm glad that God has the patience to wait for me to grow in my faith. There are times when I feel like I'm barely surviving through droughts, rain storms, and windy days. Often, I even feel like I'm about to break, but God is a faithful gardener. Sometimes, my life feels like a "soursop" — my attitude is wrong, my face is downcast, and the events around me can put me in a sour mood.

Delightfully, God is there, looking after His creation. He protects me from the storm when I can no longer handle it on my own, and the Holy Spirit nudges me to hold true to the promises in the Word.

Luke 8:15 – As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. (ESV)

I love that. I need to stay in the Word and hold fast with an honest and good heart. And guess what? I will be able to bear fruit with patience! I will be able to shine for the Son!

So as we wait, the twins are learning that our roots in God need to be deep and secure and that we always need to be in the sun for best results. Someday soon, we will enjoy the sweet fruit that has taken so long to grow.

Prayer: Lord of all creation, thank You for delighting in us and for patiently waiting for us to grow in Your likeness. Forgive us for times when we fail to seek You, but sometimes stick our roots in the ways of the world. Help us to remain in the vine and to trust in Your Word alone. Heavenly Father, grant us patience, and guide us in holding fast with an honest and good heart. May Your name alone be glorified. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Lubbers <>
Soroti, Uganda

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Karen for the encouraging thoughts.

    What a wonderful devotional. Thank you Karen.

    Karen, I love reading your devotionals — tells me so much about your life there.

    Yes, Karen, may we be fruitful for our Lord Jesus. Thank you for writing. Blessings.

    Thanks for the wonderful message.
    God Bless you and Your family.

    Thanks, Karen, your message reminded me of a Sunday school lesson and growing mustard seeds.

    I thought this one especially good. We both love to garden.
    A very thoughtful message.

    Your message today really spoke to my heart! Thank you, I needed this message today.

    Thank you for your message today! I much prefer interacting with kids than with adults, and I thank God for their innocence and jubilation!
    (Alabama USA)

    Thank you for this inspiring message today! It’s hard to be patient and wait on the Lord but when we look back on our lives we see that God’s timing is always perfect. May God’s richest blessings be upon you always.

    What an amazing reminder! Thanks! You have a wonderful way of weaving such appropriate Scripture with a very ‘visual’ message!
    I really appreciated this Devotional!!

    Hello Karen;
    Thank you for weaving a story of persevering in the Lord with such warmth and eloquence.
    May God bless your ministry of writing and sharing in abundance.

    Good morning, from Northern Ontario.
    Thank you for your interesting Devotional which I read with interest today!
    I wondered what a “soursop” tree is. What does the fruit taste? It sounds very interesting!

    Thank you so much, Karen. I had just received a commentary on Ezra from our pastor and he was saying how necessary it is for teachers of the Word to be examples etc. I felt I could hardly go on teaching as often my faith is so weak. Then I read hour devotional and it gave me a word from the Lord to persevere.

    Dear Karen:
    It was so good to hear your words and God’s message to us. Thank you most sincerely. The gift of patience is truly wonderful. I know it has seen me through some tough times. May our Lord’s peace live with you and your family always.

    Thank you for that devotional thought! Just what I needed today as I pastor a small biker church in Ontario. Sometimes it’s hard to wait to see fruit in a long term project like reaching bikers for Christ.
    May Christ be praised as we wait for God’s time.

    Dear Karen:
    I wanted to thank you for your devotional today. I felt it was a personal message to me regarding a personal situation. I have to admit I am like the twins constantly expecting the ‘plant’ to be planted, watered and grown all at one time. Waiting is the hardest.
    May God Bless you, and that you are continually inspired to keep writing.

    What a wonderful devotional! Your imagery helps anyone to picture the scene of your daily visitors coming to check on plant growth.
    So often, we are like the twins – we want to see results immediately and don’t understand why we cannot. (even adults get impatient at times!) Your words help remind us to be patient – that God IS taking care of the situation, whatever it may be.‎
    Do continue to write and share your devotions with others!

    Hi Karen,
    We, here in southern Ontario, Canada, are in the seeding season at the moment. The tradition here was and to some of us older folk is that we put the garden in on May the 24th. Every morning I go to my little garden plot behind the house to which seeds have come up.
    And definitely. patience is a virtue. And indeed God does have patience with all of us.

    Dear Karen,
    I stayed for a time near the Zaire and Sudan border. You get proper rain there. 30 seconds and the ground is flooded. Sadly the soil quality is poor and a lot of the ground is given over to cash crops such as tobacco. I never forget the time I had out there with the snakes, ants and civil war that was prevelant in the early 80’s. Surprisingly Advocados grow to about 60 feet if you plant the seeds!
    Thanks for reminding me about how God is with us no matter how far apart we may be physically by the geography of this world.

    Wonderful message Karen.
    You are certainly not alone with the emotions you feel. Here in Canada the (weather) challenges can be extreme too. COLD. ICE. SNOW. Brutally low temperatures. I love the spring and summer months and always struggle with the rest.
    I think human nature is one of roller-coaster emotions, that is why it is so good to have God in our lives. He is constant and good and oh-so-patient with us. I would be lost without Him in my life.
    Thank you for the reminder,
    (Ontario, Canada)

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