Have you ever stumbled across something with a sign on it that said “FREE”? And, if so, did you stop and take it home? No shame in saying yes. I mean, one of my mottos is, if it’s free, it’s for me, lol… That stems from years of balancing a tight budget and trying to be a good steward of all that God provides.
I now work from home due to the current COVID culture and I try to escape for my “daily walk with Jesus” every day between 11 am and 1 pm, depending on the demands of my day. Me and Jesus (yes, I know I should type “Jesus and I”), well anyway, we walk and talk… I do most of the talking and HE does most of the listening and it is the best kind of therapy, and it’s FREE. It is that time each day where I believe I am the most important child and have all of my Father’s attention and HE faithfully listens to my praise, my woes, my wishes, my requests, my frustrations, my regrets, and pretty much every thought and feeling in between. We cover a lot each day. HE can handle it.
Sometime in mid-June, Jesus and I were out for our walk and I stumbled across a box that said FREE. As I got closer, I realized it had some pretty sorry looking garden plants in it, about 12 in all. It was already 103 out (ok maybe not quite 103), but definitely warm enough for me to know that if someone didn’t take these poor little plants and at least set them in the shade, they would be toast in a couple hours…
My husband had already planted his garden in our back yard and I knew we didn’t need these little plants. I also realized they may already have passed over from life to death, but for some reason, I picked up this box and painstakingly walked the half-mile home carrying these plants and suffering the stares of folks driving by. I felt kinda like a thief, to be honest, knowing most probably couldn’t see the word FREE, and here I am, middle-aged woman, carrying a box of sorry little plants to my house. Let’s go back to “that I didn’t need… and that may have already started the trip to plant heaven…”
Luckily, for these little guys, I did not plant flowers this year in all my outdoor flower pots and they were still empty and stacked up so I proceeded to plant these mostly dead plants in all my empty flower pots. I could tell there was one, possibly two tomato plants, even though one was basically a wilted stick, and I hoped one plant was a cucumber and figured the rest were yellow squash judging by what leaves there were that were not wilted. I honestly figured it was about a 10-20% chance any of them would make it but I kept thinking, hey, they were FREE. I planted at least two plants to each big pot, used organic soil, and began to water them and watch over them.
The picture above displays these plants!!! It was not a cucumber plant, the tomato plants are blooming and have lots of little green tomatoes, and the rest of what I thought were yellow squash are something else (mystery fruit). I am overjoyed when I look at these plants and see the fruit! I was wishing I had a before picture to share, but I am terrible at remembering to do a before picture with any project because all I can see in my mind is the finished product.
Before Jesus came into my life, I was like one of those mostly dead plants. Sad, hurting, empty, without a hope or a future, and many in my life had set me aside believing the worst. I definitely was not producing fruit and had Jesus taken the “before picture”…well, it would not be a pretty sight. These little plants reminded me of the transforming power and promise of our Lord and Savior. HE saves us, nurtures us, is our daily bread and our spring of living water, and HE woos and loves us in such a way that day by day the old is replaced by the new.
And, HE is giddy over our growth, our new life, and our unique fruit!!
And, that is the picture HE takes.
When HE picks us up and carries us to our new life, HE already has the end in mind. He wastes no time with the “before picture” because who wants to focus on that? Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that HE who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Each of us is HIS workmanship, and each of us has our own unique fruit to bear as the Master Gardener FREELY loves us.
Every time I sit on my back deck and marvel at these plants, I smile and feel so joyful and complete and I contemplate what fruit has been and will be produced in my life. Whether the fruit is like a cherry tomato or a watermelon, whether it’s a bushel or a bite, it is my own and your own heavenly crafted gift that Jesus creates in us to be given to others so they may “Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!!” Psalm 34:8
Go my sisters! Be fruitful! Keep an eye out for those FREE items that may just need your special touch. I would love to hear your stories of “raising the dead”.
PS… Lastly, I cannot wait to see what the mystery fruit will be! All I know is there will be a lot of them, whatever they are. Makes me giggle as I consider what new mystery fruit Jesus might sprout up in my life next – HE always surprises me!! I will let you know ☺
Editors Note: I would like to welcome Tisa to the You Are Worthy team – she is a fabulous teacher and writer, full of energy and the ability to make anyone laugh! We will be hearing more from her – it is always a joy to listen to her poignant stories that are all about real life, as she brings home the life-lesson that speaks straight to the heart. ~Vicki
Tisa’s “mystery fruit”…what will it be?