"Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:11-12
"And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29
I know, I know. It's fall. It's very much fall, and almost winter- in fact it may snow later today. But thinking about growing things, thinking about doing something my Heavenly Father did first practically makes me giddy. The other day one of the first seed catalogs for next spring arrived, I carefully set it aside for a later time because I just knew that once I started going through, I wouldn't want to put it down, and I had things to do. And then yesterday I was online and saw a brand new seed for an heirloom variety of brussels sprouts, and I promise you, my heart skipped a beat. I was so excited about this vegetable! I love growing fruits and vegetables, and every time I see something during this time of year, it reminds me that spring always comes again, and the whole growing cycle will begin again.
But there's more to it than that. See, I keep thinking about God gave all the plants of the earth to mankind, and I remember my little experiment two years ago with tomato plants.
"Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it." Genesis 2:15
My tomato plant experiment showed me what can happen when we truly take dominion over the plants of the earth. I had three plants. Two of them I blessed over and over. I spoke kind words to my plants, and I spoke words of scripture over them. Sometimes I would sing a little praise song as I tended them. And they grew like you wouldn't believe! They grew over eight feet tall- indoors no less- and were covered with fruit. The third plant I placed in the same sun-facing window on a different floor of the house, and I did not bless it. I did not speak kindly to it, I just tended it. That plant grew too, but it only grew to about 4 feet tall. It looked different too- less robust and hardy. It produced tomatoes too, but not near as many.
Last year when it came time to get the garden going, I was so behind that I didn't take time to bless anything. I had blessed my tomato seedlings as I started them and they grew a bit, but after that, I just stopped. I would work in the garden and when I was finished for the day, I wanted to be done, so I went inside thinking that I'd bless the garden later. Of course, I never did. Looking back, I wonder how much better my gardening would have gone this past year if I'd taken the time to actually take dominion over my garden and my yard. I started blessing my tomatoes once the season for everything else was over, and of course, my toamtoes replied by giving me as many tomatoes as they could late in the season. By then though, the rest of the garden was lost.
So one of my missions this year, as I go through seed catalogs, is to prepare for the spring gardening season in a whole new way. I plan to spend some time in the coming months with my Bible and a concordance or two, and prepare for gardening by looking for the scriptures that I can speak over my garden.
"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8:19
I am a son of God. I am a child of God, and because my Savior died on the cross to fix the relationship between God and man, I can now grab hold of that which was promised me way back in Genesis. I can take dominion over my garden and can cause it to be an area of great abundance. My garden last year was just waiting for me to stand up and tell it exactly what to do, but I failed my garden, and in return, it failed me.
"And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak." Numbers 22:38
God already gave me all the words I need to take my gardens under my authority, but I have to find them- because they are written down in my precious Bible. I will find them, and I will learn them, and then I will speak them to the seeds of the earth. But it's kind of fun to think that part of garden preparation for the coming year will be time well-spent in my Bible! It makes me think that there are too many times we don't turn to our Bibles in preparation for something. That can be a daunting task sometimes, to find all the places in the Bible where a particular subject comes up, but what could be better than the task of searching them out in the first place? Think of all the other verses that will be read along the way,all the other Words of encouragement that can be filed away for another time, and pulled out when needed.
So as I go about my days, encouraged by pictures of seeds and fruit trees, I am also going to be encouraged by the precious Words of God. As winter rolls in and causes me to want to be a hermit, hiding in my house, I will be a hermit for a time, but it will be with seed catalogs in one hand, and my Bible in the other. While I can't get vegetables to grow without the seeds that will come from the catalogs, it's the Word in my other hand that will be the key to a successful growing season next year. It's going to be a good winter.