Steve to Earth - Encouraging you the way I like to be encouraged.



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May you never forget His goodness

This past weekend I planted spring-flowering bulbs. Over a hundred tulips, along with some alliums and lilies, are now nestled snuggly beneath six inches of rich, moist earth. I planted them in an older flower bed just north of my house … an ideal place for tulips.

There are no tree roots to congest the soil or compete for nutrients … the northern exposure encourages the soil to remain cool deep into our fickle unpredictable springtimes, providing the necessary chill needed by the tulips to produce long, slender stems … and the soil … well … the soil in that bed is the best I have. Generous additions of organic matter over many years have softened and mellowed its texture. Roots and stems travel through it just as effortlessly as the blade of a shovel. It’s rich … full of life … ready to feed those who settle and spread their roots there with just the right mixture of moisture, oxygen and minerals. And if the weather is kind, this spring the earth will laugh with flowers.

I’ve always associated things … not because I’m intelligent or clever … but simply because that’s how things make sense to me. I’m a visual learner … a hands-on learner. I like the feel of the plump, heavy flower bulb in my hand … the slight resistance and exchange that occur as the prepared soil eagerly accepts the small package of life from my hand.

For a brief moment, I connect with the very substance from which I am made in an effort to bring life and beauty to my little corner of the world. My fingerprints are left in the soil. Its fingerprints stain my white T-shirt, my blue jeans and my hands. As has become my custom, I ask for our Father’s blessings on each variety that I plant, and I entrust them to Him.

Planting can be hard work … messy work … the kind that requires a good, hot shower with lots of soap and scrubbing afterward … and maybe even a good long nap … to restore and refresh the gardener. But it’s good work … actually pretty easy work compared to the incredible things that our Father does in a garden.

Any good gardener will tell you that we may plant and water … cultivate and feed … prune and harvest … but no gardener has ever been able to make a plant grow … and never will. That is a process reserved for the Source of Life … the original Gardener (John 15:1 & I Corinthians 3:5-7). Because of the growth that He provides, this spring a healthy bed of vibrant tulips will sing His praises with an eloquence unknown to the human tongue.

One day later …

As I look out my west window, a mallard duck executes a perfect landing on the water’s surface and begins to preen. The bulbs I planted yesterday are already busy sending out firm, white roots … anchoring themselves in anticipation of proudly displaying their living goblets and globes of creamy apricot and rosy peach petals … and butter yellow backgrounds streaked with glowing red flames.

My sinful heart is starting over … given a new morning and a new opportunity for my soul to grow and thrive in a place I do not deserve to be … in the greatest garden of all … the Gardener’s garden. He is amazingly good to us! May you and I never forget that.



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