The young woman walked into her parents’ house for what she knew would be the last time. The burial had been sombre but sweet, for she knew her father had finally joined her mother. It had been a long time since death had separated them, but now they were both together.
The door squeaked slightly as she opened it, but beyond it was nothing but silence – no familiar voice to greet her or arms to hug her. The house had already been packed up, and the majority of her parents’ belongings had been distributed. There were only a few family heirlooms and meaningful trinkets she wanted to retain for herself. Among them was a small chest, which her father had indicated should be hers. She opened it, intrigued, and discovered it contained only one small seed.
She went straight home to her garden and pressed the seed into the earth. She watered it regularly and made sure there was plenty of sunlight to warm the earth. She then waited … and waited … through the spring rains … through the first heat of summer. The day finally arrived when she noticed a speck of green breaking through the soil, followed by a shoot, and then the beginnings of a plant.
The seed quickly grew into a nice small bush. And, while it was lovely and caused her joy, she recognised the type and knew it was capable of becoming much better, taller, and lusher. However, despite her efforts, she was unable to bring it to its full potential.
Months slipped into years, and one day she was given the opportunity to start a new life in a land far to the south. She jumped at the chance, but she couldn’t bear the thought of giving up the plant her father had left her. So, she carefully removed the earth surrounding it, taking care not to injure its roots. She lowered it into a pot before ensuring its safety on her lengthy voyage. She walked out to her new garden and planted it in her new property once she had settled into her new home.
She was astounded to see how quickly the shrub grew taller and wider. Almost immediately, the bush burst into bloom with a mass of lovely, fragrant blossoms. The bush was completely altered almost immediately. And as she gazed in awe, she realised that her plant had always been destined for the south rather than the north, for her new land rather than the old. It might have survived in its previous garden, but it would never have flourished. Only in its new home, in its rightful home, could it completely thrive, show its full potential, and be everything it was ever meant to be.
So it is with those of us who have had the gospel seed planted in our hearts. It sprouts, grows, and establishes itself. It blooms and produces extremely gorgeous blooms.
Nonetheless, we know, understand, and lament how few and tiny they are. Even when we make every effort, we bemoan how ineffective our efforts are, and even when we bear fruit, we bemoan how little fruit we bear.
Even while we exult in each of God’s favours and celebrate each manifestation of His grace, we desire to be in that new land, that new home, that new place where we can – and will – truly thrive, where we will show our full potential, where we will be all that God has created us to be.