small steps towards slow growth

I got my second gardening magazine in the mail last week. It made me giddy! Flipping through all the fun veggie plants and gardening tools inspired my mind as I built an entire farm from a garden in my mind.

I only ordered three jalapeno plants from the catalogue though because that is the reality of my garden. I have held space for the peppers I love so much and that is really all I can do right now with the garden space I have.

Though hopeful dreaming is fun, the doing and action is where the fruit bearing comes from. I can read all the fun contents of the magazine but the only fruit that will grow in my garden is the fruit I plant and tend to well.

Doing the thing is where the rubber meets the road.

My son can promise to make the bed and give me lip service but the rumpled bed is evidence of a failed promise. In a similar way, God calls us to not just be hearers of the word but doers, lest we deceive ourselves (James 1:22).

Just as when I flipped through the magazine, reading every paragraph, I might know some stuff about gardening but until I buy the plants and put them in the ground, I am not a gardener and my garden will bear no fruit.

When I unpack a verse or passage of the Bible, I ask the Lord to help me respond to what He is teaching me, lest I just hear the Word and do nothing with it. I seek to respond to God’s Word in an actionable way so that the seed of the Word doesn’t remain on the page but actually takes root in the soil of my heart.

This takes time, small steps and a slow growing season.

Digging into the Word takes time, small steps and a slow growing season.

This requires the Gardener and Grower of the fruit to continue tending my soul while I keep responding.

So this morning when I read the passage of John that I am unpacking these days, I took a moment to be still and acknowledge His presence with me. Then I Examined the facts in the verse, making note of them. Then I noticed the spiritual lessons and asked the Lord to highlight what He is whispering to my soul today about Himself. And finally, I sought to respond, to do what it said.

Somedays the doing is praying for someone, somedays it is worship God for who he is. And yet, somedays the action is to call someone and ask for their forgiveness or make cookies for a neighbor. Regardless what the Lord brings to mind, I seek to respond by His strength, knowing it is in those small moments of tending that the seed is planted deep and the roots begin to form.

How will you respond today to His Word, His character and what He teaches you?


Begin tending your soul by the Word. Drop your email below to get Tending through Psalm 23 to help guide you as you begin.

6 thoughts on “small steps towards slow growth

  1. “I seek to respond to God’s Word in an actionable way so that the seed of the Word doesn’t remain on the page but actually takes root in the soil of my heart.” This is so important and something I always ask God – How can I apply this to my life? It is one of the reasons I have so been blessed by the ministry of Chuck Swindoll – he always makes the word so practical and applicable to everyday life.

  2. I love those gardening catalogs and Pinterest ideas .and tend to build a farm in my mind too, but have learned to only plant what I will tend to. Your line .”but until I buy the plants and put them in the ground, I am not a gardener and my garden will bear no fruit.” has given me great food for thought. .I’m strong on learning and planning, but need to work on the doing part. especially when it come to what God is saying. Thank you for the reminder today.

  3. Mariel, your analogy here of the garden and God’s Word is lovely. Besides the fact that I love gardening, I love God’s Word, and indeed if I am going to grow in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord, I need to take action. Oh me, I have not always done that! But I am grateful for your gentle reminder!

  4. Planting the seed of His Word, tending it, and bearing fruit as I grow are all what I want to do…..too often tho, I think I can get results without the work. Thank you, Mariel, for this VERY timely reminder given in such a creative way!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: