"So neither he who plants is anything nor he who waters, but (only) God Who makes it grow and become greater" (I Corinthians 3:7).
This spring I've had my first experience with growing tomato plants from seed. I've always admired how people have grown massive tomato-bearing behemoths from tiny seeds; I've always made myself content with buying a more mature plant at the garden store that, many times, had small yellow blossoms already. My fascination with watching them grow from "little sprouts" to the more mature plants was increased ten fold last year when I bought a tiny plant and brought it to my little greenhouse. Given its size, I had no idea if it would even survive, much less grow into a healthy fruit-bearing plant. I watered it, put it in a big pot to match the size I hoped it would achieve before planting it in the ground once the dirt warmed, and then tried to be patient. That plant grew almost before my very eyes. It was incredible how it grew each day.
I was hooked.
This spring I had every ambition to start from scratch...or seed, as the case may be. I knew how well the plant enjoyed and thrived in the greenhouse environment, so I knew that seeds would find the perfect environment for germination and becoming healthy seedlings.
Then the greenhouse was destroyed.
I found myself with a bunch of "orphaned" tomato seeds and little good experience with growing anything indoors. In the past, I would have lots of good intentions and leggy, thread-like wisps of seedlings that never survived. This time I needed to grow more wisely. So, I read a good book on germination and seedlings, bought some decent germination trays and planting medium, and invested in a good grow light. After following the directions carefully, the seeds did germinate, and they did grow under the encouragement of the glow of the grow light. In fact, they grew out of their little germination squares pretty quickly.
I was in new territory again.
So, back to the research and the wisdom of others who suggested I "cook" some dirt to sterilize it, and then transplant the tomato plants. I had read originally that the roots of a new plant are exceedingly delicate and the transplant process can destroy them. Apparently, leaves grow back freely...roots, not so much. So, I took the greatest care I could in separating the "twins"--the two germinated seeds originally planted together that had both grown into seedlings. So delicate, so tiny… Into the new planting medium they went in their new "homes"...the peat pots. Each were carefully watered and placed back under the grow lights to get accustomed to their new growing environment. The next morning I hesitated to look at them, fearing that I would see wilted little green messes rather than the healthy little plants I'd seen the night before. Happily, they were all still standing and looked okay...no worse for the wear.
A pretty humbling experience…
We can plant, we can water, we can feed...but it is ultimately God's incredible wisdom and grace that makes anything on this glorious planet truly grow and thrive. And, it's kind of the same way with all of us. We can plant the seeds of faith, love, and trust within ourselves and then share with our neighbors, but it will need God's consistent input to make it truly blossom into the healthiest kind of harvest.
Peace be with you.