Garland Of Grace – 09.29.14

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Spiritual Lessons from Mr. & Mrs. Pumpkin

“Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:3-8

In October of 2009, our family went by the farmer’s market and bought two pumpkins. My daughter Aubrey loved sitting on our back patio and carving them into jack-o-lanterns. She named them Mr. and Mrs. Pumpkin. When night came, we put candles in each one and watched them glow in the fall darkness. By November, the couple began aging. But Mr. Pumpkin was definitely aging much faster than Mrs. Pumpkin. She still had a little life in her. (They always say women outlive the men!) I took Mr. Pumpkin and threw him in the trash. Mrs. Pumpkin, the widow that she was, spent her final days alone on the back patio. Eventually it was her time to go too. But instead of throwing her in the trash, I lazily chunked her in the backyard where she found her final resting place.

Guess what we had growing in our backyard the following spring? You guessed it; four pumpkin plants had sprouted up! They started out really small, but that soon changed. We could have easily mowed them down, but we chose not to. Aubrey was excited about her new pumpkin patch. I must admit, if I had known what was going to happen, I would have thrown it further from the house. But instead, I gently tossed it off to the side of the patio. I had even thought about transplanting the pumpkins sprouts somewhere else in the yard to give them lots of room to flourish, but I ended up leaving them alone to let them do their thing.

But as we ponder the story of this pumpkin couple, we can glean spiritual lessons about the Christian life. For instance, we are to grow and flourish no matter where we are planted. No matter where we land in this life, we are to bring forth a bountiful crop for the Lord. You might be dissatisfied about where God has positioned and placed you. Maybe you do not like your job. Maybe you are struggling with where you live and wished you lived somewhere else. But whether you like where God has placed you is not the issue. He has placed you there for a purpose, and that purpose is to root yourself where you are and yield spiritual fruit. Don’t misunderstand me; there are times for job changes and times of relocation; and if that is the case, God will certainly make that clear to you. But don’t be so quick to write off where you are right now. God has placed you where you are for a purpose and that purpose is to grow and bring forth fruit for His glory. Remember, Christians are to bear fruit. If you claim to be a Christian, and you do not bear fruit, then there is something radically wrong. Where there is no fruit there is no root.

Yet there is one difference in my story and our spiritual lesson. Mrs. Pumpkin landed where she did because I casually threw her off to the side. But this is certainly not the case with you. God hasn’t casually placed you where you are without a purpose. Our God does not haphazardly throw you into the world without direction. Instead He carefully and meticulously positions you. Maybe it is God’s will for you to be relocated or transplanted, and if so He will make that clear to you. But on the other hand, it might just be that God simply wants you to stay where you are at and do your thing, and do it for God’s glory.

 – Pastor Eric

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