June 26, 2012
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
For nearly a year I have cultivated a mini vegetable garden. As an amateur gardener, I am learning a lot about plants and their growth. Quite naturally, I want them to grow fast. But that doesn?t happen. It is fun to see the end results but what happens in between is important.
When I put a seed in the soil to germinate, a few days later I see signs of growth, slow but steady. Weeks later I am excited when I see my first fruit.
To grow a healthy plant, I must use the best type of soil. Then I water, fertilize, weed, get rid of pests ? and yes, talk to the plants. Because these are for consumption, I don?t want to use artificial fertilizer or insecticide. So, a bit of research is necessary to know how to organically care for my vegetable garden.
Actually, the plant?s only responsibility is to grow. It is my duty to ensure that it has the potential to grow.
In my venture, I think of God?s garden ? our lives. He is the one Who, from the time we entrusted our lives to Him, began caring to make sure that we grow. I think of Paul?s word, ?For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.?
Paul knew God. That is why he could say ?I am confident…? He had a relationship of faith in God and He knew what God can and will do.
God is the One who began the good work in our lives. When someone shared the gospel with us, God?s Spirit helped us in our response. We may not realize it, but the environment and the people we are put with are used to help us grow. Sometimes, the help is positive in directly pointing us to God. Sometimes, it may be negative, causing us to run to God for protection and direction.
Through desirable or undesirable conditions, God?s hand is on us. He is working in our lives to make us more and more like Him ? Paul says to ?perfect it.?
A friend was facing a difficult boss. She cried and asked God why He had not answered her prayers for a nicer boss. Her husband reminded her, ?If your life is all smooth, you will not be turning to God but to your own capabilities. God is in the midst of your difficulties molding you.?
Like weeds and pests that hinder the growth of plants, our life environment has its fair share of such. Our progress can be slowed by the sins we encounter, but God has given us His Word ? He will help us. We must recognize hindrances and seek God?s strength to stay away from them.
Like my vegetable garden, God?s work in our life cannot be hurried. He is doing a work of perfecting it.
The next time you get impatient with yourself or someone for not being what he/she should be, pray for him/her. Remember that God is doing a work of perfecting each of us ? and it takes time.
Steady healthy growth takes time. It doesn?t happen overnight. With God?s help, the end result will be beautiful.
Like the tasty vegetable I produce with my care, your life in God?s care will be wonderful. Entrust yourself fully to His sole-care.
PBPWMGINFWMY ? Please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.