God has graciously given us a piece of His good earth and on a small part of that gift grows a beautiful vegetable garden—potatoes, onions, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, etc. It’s beautiful because Emory walks the rows every single day to see what the plants need.
Sometimes it’s weeds that need to be uprooted. Sometimes it’s bugs that must be destroyed, or a blight that needs to be dealt with. Sometimes the garden just needs a drink or some fertilizer to feed on. Why does he do it? He wants them to grow from a seedling to a full grown, productive plant.
However, there is one thing over which he has no control, and that is storms. Even if a storm is coming our way, he can’t rush out, uproot the plants and carry them to safety. They must weather whatever hits, and it’s the strong that survive. But he can pray that God’s hand will cover until it’s over.
Now consider this: Joe and Susie have been blessed with a small part of God’s good earth, a place to call home. In that home there are two gardens and those gardens are the hearts of their children, Anna and Jake. Joe and Susie have been given the responsibility to plant and grow faith in those gardens. How?
First they must plant the seeds from their own source of faith at the time Anna and Jake accept Jesus as their Savior. Then they must use every opportunity to walk those rows of tiny seedlings daily to see if they need anything. Are their weeds of disobedience that must be removed? Is there a blight of bad attitudes that must be dealt with? Are there bugs of unhealthy activities that need to be replaced with wholesome ones? Joe and Susie must provide plenty of the fertilizer and water of the God’s Word to nourish them, then encourage them to trust Jesus to help them overcome. And when they do overcome, they can all rejoice together, and the faith of Anna and Jake will grow strong and steady.
But what about the storms? Joe and Susie don’t dare uproot the tender plants to protect their children because weathering storms grows strong spiritual muscles. One thing they can do is walk beside them through the storm with their prayers and reassuring presence. Then Anna and Jake will grow from a seedling into strong productive believers.
..I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 2 Timothy l:5
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17