Gently lifting the green leaves, I searched among the vines for a cucumber. Again I was disappointed. My gardening attempts had begun in the spring after enjoying a salad from my sister-in-law’s garden. I had known Loes gardened, but the idea of weeding and watering weren’t my thing. That is, until I ate from her garden and my attitude changed.
The Secret Gardener
The following day, I decided to try gardening. I didn’t tell Keith. I didn’t tell Loes. I quietly went to the nursery and checked out the plants. Who knew there were so many varieties of tomatoes and basil? I selected tomato, basil, dill, cucumber, bell pepper, okra, parsley, and onions. I even bought a strawberry plant for fun. I researched the proper way to prepare a garden, hauled compost, and mixed soil. I still didn’t tell Keith. I had little confidence anything would grow.
I soon learned why gardeners enjoy it so much. It’s fun watching the plants grow. I found watering to be relaxing. Instead of turning on the news in the evenings, I turned on the hose. Like a mother checking on her sleeping children, I checked on my plants. Of course by this time, Keith knew what I was doing and was announcing to family and friends that I was a farmer. We ate the first tomato. We ate the parsley, dill, and basil. You would have thought I had a new grandchild when I triumphantly entered the house with my first squash and okra. Still no cucumber.
As parents know, you’re only as happy as your most unhappy child. As pleased as I was with my plants that were bearing, I was concerned about my cucumber. The plant looked healthy and was huge. “So why doesn’t it bear a cucumber?” I asked Keith for the umpteenth time, once again searching under the leaves and vines.
Then, one evening, I saw it. A three inch dark green fruit. A few days later I harvested my first cucumber. I couldn’t have been happier. Two days later, my eyes fell on the biggest cucumber I had ever seen. It was as long as my forearm and bigger around.
Presenting it to Keith, his eyes widened. “Did you get this from your garden?” “Yes, it had been there – growing all this time.” Needless to say, we had a photo shoot.
As I reflected on the cucumber that had been growing during the time I thought the plant wasn’t bearing, God spoke to my heart. “Debbie, many times you don’t see what I’m doing. You look at the surface and feel frustrated or disappointed. But underneath, I’m working in ways you don’t know about. Keep doing what I’ve given you to do. One day you’ll see the fruit of your effort.”
We ate the small cucumber. It was yummy. Keith bragged on me. The big one is in the refrigerator – a reminder that God is often doing big things about which we’re unaware.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works with us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever,” Ephesians 3:20.
Heavenly Father, You are a good God and have good gifts for Your children. Help us not fret when we don’t see how You’re working, but rather trust You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Debbie Taylor Williams’ passionate focus to help others know God’s life-changing power has led her to author numerous Bible studies, teach and lead retreats and conferences and serve as keynote speaker at events throughout the United States.