In the picture…do you see it? It is just to the left of the large tomato plant. It is small, almost not recognizable, but it is there. It is a smaller tomato plant that is growing. It all started with trimming. The larger plant to the right of it had a section that needed some attention. This part of the plant ended up breaking off. The instant, logical answer would have been to throw it away. It is, after all, nothing more than a mistake…an error…something that came off in the care of the plant. The tomato plant itself would continue to grow without it. It would go on to produce tomatoes and would not even notice that this part had been disconnected. But…it wasn’t thrown away.
As my mom held it in her hand, she saw potential. She saw a possibility in this. So she simply stuck it in the garden next to the other plant. There was nothing special done…just stuck it in the dirt so that it would get the same water and nutrients as everything else in the garden. At first, it struggled. It was in a new environment…on its own…not connected to the life source it had always known. It shriveled and looked as if it would die. It looked like nothing more than a weed. We didn’t pull it. We just let it adapt. We just watched and watered. And then we watched it start to grow. I have been amazed to see this little stem…this little bit of seemingly insignificance start to grow and get stronger. It is beginning to flourish. Will it produce actual tomatoes? I guess that is to be seen. But it definitely is holding its own…well, with a little water and love like everything else in the garden needs.
In my small, limited view, I couldn’t help but think this might just be how God sees us sometimes. The world may see us as small and insignificant, but God sees potential for fruit bearing in us. We struggle to find out who we are. We struggle to adapt to a new environment. We can feel like nothing more than a little sprig in a great big garden. It may seem as though we aren’t going to do what we were created to do. And then we get it…we hear his voice…we feel his presence…we are overwhelmed by his love…and we begin to flourish. We flourish because we are made by him and cared for by him. We flourish in the hopes that we will too bear fruit as we are created. We flourish to show others that what the world calls insignificant, God calls strong…loved…filled with purpose…valuable…his beloved. In your struggles, keep growing and keep watching…God can do mighty things with just a little willingness. Stand tall…for you have a purpose.