I love fresh tomatoes—they are one of my favorite foods of summer. My dad and I are the only ones in our family who will eat them. So, my mom always grows them just for us. There is nothing better than vine-ripened tomatoes in the heat of an Illinois summer. Delicious! I pluck them right off the vine, and into my mouth they go. There is little chance that they’ll even make it inside. Sorry, Dad!
Here in North Dakota, I cannot seem to grow tomatoes successfully! It could be due to the shorter growing season or having less humidity… I might get a few tomatoes, but not nearly enough for my tastes.
Check out my poor tomato plant (pictured below). Knowing I enjoy tomatoes, my mom planted it for me the summer that Dave died (2013). As you can see it didn’t fare well!
I could have forgotten to water it in my grief…or maybe it was the mighty wind that knocked it over half a dozen times.
I don’t know what is worse—its pathetic, withered look or the need to prop it up against my deck railing! Day after day, I would walk by it in a daze. I often failed to water it.
In some ways, it represented my life quite well at the time. Towards the end of summer, I took a picture of it, as a marker. Dismally, I thought, “I must look like this plant, down and out, a little worse for the wear.” I had no clear plan at the time. (Grief is like that.)
Soon, I noticed there was still fruit. Despite appearances, my poor tomatoes were still hanging on! As I waited on the Lord to renew my vision…even in my grief…I knew He would make something good (Jeremiah 29:11). In a sense this tomato plant brought me tremendous hope during those dark days.
Have you ever felt Life looked a little bleak? Has your hope withered as Life pressed in?
I’m so sorry. Like this tomato plant, we all experience rough times. Circumstances can change in an instant. I know. We get knocked down for many reasons. Whatever your loss or pain, will you let God handle it? He will make a glorious masterpiece, if you will let Him.
Lamentations 3:24 says, “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” If you feel like a beaten up, wind-tossed tomato plant, there is hope!
Have confidence in God’s timing and goodness (see Psalm 27:13).
He loves you very much.
Father God, thank You for bringing me through, and giving me new direction. Your wonderful plan includes hope for today and a great future. The best is yet to come! Thank You for sustaining us with Your grace and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.