When my four kids were small, I spent lots of time snuggled on the sofa reading to them. Have you ever wondered if some of these stories were written for the parents more than for the kids? I have.
One of the books we read was called “Frog and Toad Together.” In that particular book is the story of “The Garden.”
I can’t remember if I’ve ever asked you to pray before reading a post, but I’m asking you do so this time, as the Lord may very well have some liberating ideas to turn your heart toward.
“The Garden,” contains some truths that are amazingly applicable to ministry as it pertains to sowing and reaping, waiting and trusting. Here it is:
“Frog and Toad Together: The Garden” by Arnold Lobel
“Frog was in his garden.
“Toad came walking by.
“What a fine garden you have, Frog,” he said.
“Yes,” said Frog. “It is very nice, but it was hard work.
“I wish I had a garden,” said Toad.
“Here are some flower seeds. Plant them in the ground,” said Frog,
and soon you will have a garden.
“How soon?” asked Toad.
“Quite soon,” said Frog.
“Toad ran home.
“He planted the flower seeds.
“Now seeds,” said Toad, “start growing.”
“Toad walked up and down a few times. The seeds did not start to grow.
“Toad put his head close to the ground and said loudly, “Now seeds, start growing!”
“The seeds did not start to grow.
Toad put his head very close to the ground and shouted,
“NOW SEEDS, START GROWING!”
“Frog came running up the path.
“What is all this noise?” he asked.
“My seeds will not grow,” said Toad.
“You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.”
“My seeds are afraid to grow?” asked Toad.
“Of course,” said Frog. “Leave them alone for a few days.
Let the sun shine on them, let the rain fall on them. Soon your seeds will start to grow.”
“That night Toad looked out of his window.
“Drat!” said Toad. “My seeds have not started to grow. They must be afraid of the dark.”
“Toad went out to his garden with some candles.
“I will read the seeds a story,” said Toad. “Then they will not be afraid.”
“Toad read a long story to his seeds.
“All the next day Toad sang songs to his seeds.
“And all the next day Toad read poems to his seeds.
“And all the next day Toad played music for his seeds.
“Toad looked at the ground.
“The seeds still did not start to grow.
“What shall I do?” cried Toad.
“These must be the most frightened seeds in the whole world!”
“Then Toad felt very tired, and he fell asleep.
“Toad, Toad, wake up,” said Frog. “Look at your garden!”
“Toad looked at his garden.
“Little green plants were coming up out of the ground.
“At last,” shouted Toad, “my seeds have stopped being afraid to grow!”
“And now you will have a nice garden too,” said Frog.
“Yes,” said Toad, but you were right, Frog. It was very hard work.”
“Jesus also said, “Here is another illustration of what the Kingdom of God is like: A farmer planted seeds in a field, and then he went on with his other activities. As the days went by, the seeds sprouted and grew without the farmer’s help.” Mark 4:26,27 (The New Living Translation)
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” I Corinthians 3:6-9 (ESV)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!