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Listen while you read: "Forth In Thy Name"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 40:5 – Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things You planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. (NIV)
I have been retired for some time, but I never find life boring because I know that God isn't finished with me yet. I often wonder what He has in store for me in these latter years, but He never leaves me wondering for very long.
Last year, a friend gave me a tomato plant. I had never planted tomatoes, but it was a new challenge, so I planted it, watered it faithfully every day as I had been told to do, and bought a cage to help support the tiny, frail-looking branches.
The more attention that I gave it, the taller it grew. Then one day, it happened! A tiny, green, baby tomato appeared on one of the stems. I was so excited because I had never had this experience before. A few days later, another appeared, then another. It made me feel almost like I had become the mother of a little baby that depended on my daily loving care in order to thrive.
And thrive it did, producing more and more tomatoes on a daily basis. Raising a baby at my age can become quite demanding, but it was fun, too.
As the tomatoes began to ripen, one after another, I realized that I would have far more than I could eat, so I began to give them away to my neighbours. This became an almost-daily occurrence, and what fun it was to chat with different neighbours whom I didn't know very well. They began to look forward to my visits — as well as my tomatoes, of course. During these visits, I was able to share how good the Lord was by creating this opportunity for me to come to know them. With each ensuing visit, as I came to know them better, I found little opportunities to talk of Him and how real He is in my life. This often opened doors for them to share their experiences or ask questions about the reasons for my faith.
This year, I planted four plants, and I am nurturing them carefully, though they have not yet ripened. I hope to be able to supply my whole neighbourhood with tomatoes, and that will be exciting. I will be able to share how grateful I am to the Lord Who gives me the strength to raise these demanding little tomato babies, even at my age, and to talk of the wonder of a God Who cares so much for each one of us as we trust our lives to Him.
This rather unique experience has reinforced my original thought that God isn't finished with me yet. He will continue to use each one of us to glorify Himself, provided that we are willing to take advantage of the different creative opportunities that He brings into our lives, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. His challenges not only keep our lives interesting but also give us opportunities to minister the love of God to others, regardless of the inconveniences that come with advancing years.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your promise that You are with us at all times. Thank You for the seemingly simple ways that You open doors of opportunity to share our everyday blessings with others. You promise each one of us, as Your children, a sense of joy and peace, even in the smallest things that happen in our latter years. It can be a daily experience, with You loving us, leading us, and supplying all of our needs, according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May we never take these blessings for granted. We offer this prayer of thanksgiving in Jesus' name. Amen.
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God isn’t finished with you yet?
Great story Sharon. May God bless your efforts.
I enjoyed this. Thanks.
Thanks for your message today. Very interesting analogy.
Thanks for sharing your tomato growing experience. Praising God for His blessings. Blessings.
Hello Sharon! That was a very interesting devotional today. Thanks for sharing. Just keep planting!
Too bad that I don’t live in your neighbourhood, those little “round babies” (tomatoes) sound delicious!
Sharon – I loved the wit of this devotional! It made me smile! Thanks for the reminder that God uses all sorts of situations for His purposes and glory!
Humph… I haven’t received any!!!!
Good message Sharon. Good and kind actions too.
My veggie garden has been pitiful this year. It does not stop me trying though.
As I read your devotional this morning, I was reminded that God provides at different times for us. Our tomato crop has been lost harvested (and it was shared) and now we are hopeful of a fall crop. So your thoughts on sharing and on God’s abundance to us have reached receptive ears all the way to Texas.
Thank you for reporting on the success of your tomato-friendship-sharing-witness to the goodness and love of our Lord.
I have been able to share jelly-crabapples and grapes. Someone has brought me some tomatoes.
Some gardens in southern Manitoba, including mine, were stricken with a tomato blight that dried up the plants too early for them to produce much food. The blight attacked sunflowers too, destroying totally some that sharing neighbors planted in my garden.
Gardening is such a good way to get to know neighbors better and share our faith in Jesus Christ as well as our garden produce.
The title of your devotional today startled me, remembering many years ago when a family friend had a baby at 60. That was unbelievable but true. The way you had and grew you babies “late in life” is so well done from both the human and spiritual standpoints.
As for me, whoever thought I would still, at the age of almost 92, be singing in the ladies chorale and mixed ensemble at church, and receiving compliments. I started singing publicly when I was 9. I’m so thankful the Lord apparently still wants to use me and my testimony a little longer. I also am very well aware of His sense of humor and love Him for it.
God bless you Sharon. I have written to you before, once that I remember. Keep them coming.
Wonderful devotional. And I am sure you know how beneficial tomatoes are for health. You are nurturing both physical and spiritual blessings with your neighbours!
God bless you.
Interesting title Sharon.
I’m here to tell you that you are not near getting old yet. When your knees are healed and you can move more your energy will surge once again. I know we all slow down a bit… but only a bit. I have worked along side many people way older than you and they have one thing in common. A unrelenting spirit to serve God. Same as you. It’s not years that makes us old or health. It’s spirit.
I did enjoy your tomatoes story and I identify as I grew herbs and started sharing them with neighbors. As I was new to the area it was a very good opportunity to get to know them. Some were curious as to why we go to church and what church does for us etc. I don’t push it but opportunities do indeed come up to share as you said.