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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

An Intentional Farmer

Funny story: my stepdad doesn’t like tomatoes but he planted 120 tomato plants this year. He’s not a farmer. He’s a retired plumber. He doesn’t grow anything else but tomatoes. Why? First, because his wife loved them and ate at least two a day before she passed away. But secondly, because he discovered that others loved them too and it brings him great joy to share.

The Bible says,

“For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest. Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11, TLB).

I smile at the thought of my dad growing tomatoes. I absolutely love his heart. And I love hearing the stories about the elderly who are so thankful for his weekly gift of tomatoes because they aren’t able to plant their own garden anymore. As the scripture says, they are so thankful for his kindness.

But this principle isn’t just about tomatoes. I’m not a gardener, but I sow regularly. And I’ve seen God’s faithfulness to multiply my seed.

I’m talking about His Word. I love the scriptures. And I love sharing encouragement from them. I tend to God’s Word every day and look for ways to post, blog, tweet, write, speak— you name it. If I can sow God’s Word in some form, I do. I occasionally hear from those it helps, but I’m not looking for compliments. Like my dad, it simply brings me great joy to share.

So what are you growing? What are you sowing?

I believe all of us have a crop to tend to — maybe it’s your family, maybe a neighborhood or an assisted living home. Maybe your field is your city, your job or your church. But without a doubt, you have something to share.

“But remember this — if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes. God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others. It is as the Scriptures say: ‘The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to him forever’” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9, TLB).

If you look for the value in something and the joy it brings to others, it’s not hard to give things away. But first, you must plant and tend to your crop. This is probably where people give up. The joy is in the giving — but the work happens first. It’s often a sacrifice of time and money. And sometimes you don’t see the reward. My dad has left bags of tomatoes on porches and never got to see the smile on the face of the one who found them.

But God sees.

There is joy in giving. I pray you have found that joy.

Copyright © 2021 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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