And There are Tomatoes

There once was a white foam cup filled with dirt that bright-eyed girl brought home from school.

“They’re tomatoes,” she declared and my heart clenched tight.

I kill everything they bring home in little white cups. My thoughts swirled.

“We have to plant them mommy,” her emphatic declaration only drove the doubt deeper.

How do I tell her there will never be tomatoes? I wondered, but said, “We will try to plant them, but not now.”

I continued my “not now” response for quite sometime until ten little seedlings and the pleading of the bright-eyed girl could no longer be ignored.

We bought a pot and soil and went to work one hot summer day.

“These seedlings are fragile,” I said nodding to the bright-eyed girl whose smile spread wide across her face.

“What does fragile mean?” her little brother asked in wonder.

“They need to special care or they will not make it,” I told him.

We planted ten seedlings in the pot and one day there were none. They all disappeared under the soil after a rain. In typical fashion I did not take the pot inside right away. It sat in my backyard as a monument to my brown thumb.

Then one day something green poked up from the soil – not a tiny seedling, but a plant.

Great a weed managed to grow in the pot, I thought. But my bright-eyed girl thought it was a tomato plant and I couldn’t prove it wasn’t, at least not yet.

However the plant grew and soon it was clear…It was a tomato plant and what is clear now is that in early September we have green tomatoes.

Tiny tomato

Somehow that plant survived my brown thumb, our vacation, and it is making tomatoes.

bigger tomatoes

All I could see was death and desolation, but there was a plant thriving under the ground.

And maybe that is the season of life we all come to at some point. We plant our dreams and hopes in fertile soil. We trust God’s plan and pray our brown thumbs don’t get in the way. And God kills our dream. It looks dead and hopeless. We doubt and wonder. Maybe it wasn’t a God-given dream or path.

Perhaps it isn’t so much a time of death or desolation, but a time of waiting. Waiting for God to bring the miracle, trusting God’s plan and timing. And the waiting and trusting feels like death, looks like death, but there is life. Life underneath and around the quiet soil.

When we wait on God, He promises to renew our strength. And tomatoes will remind me of this truth always.

What has God done for you while you waited for Him? Share your waiting story with me so I can pray for you.