It’s not much to look at today. But just a week ago, when I bought it for $2.99 at our local grocery, it was adorable. Tiny daffodils in full bloom. Perfect for the middle of the kitchen table.
I’ve been thinking of deadheading it, wondering if it would bloom again? My husband said he didn’t think it would. Not right now. Not in its current state. “But,” he said, “don’t throw it away. Save the bulbs.”
It occurred to me today as I think about those bulbs, hiding dormant for a future bloom, how much this situation is like the parable of the sower.
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
-Luke 8: 5-8
A hundredfold. Fruit (or daffodil blooms) can reproduce many, many times if planted in the right place and nurtured.
Jesus’s teaching here gives me pause. I do my best to be the good soil. I desperately want to be the place where the seed of the Word falls and is “embrace[d]…with a generous and good heart.” I want to “bear fruit through perseverance” in study, prayer, and a faithful walk with the Lord. (Luke 8:15)
But what about my kids?
How can I help them prepare the soil of their souls for the Word?
Last night in the car, we somehow ended up in a discussion about hearing God’s voice. But I was reassured to hear, yet again, that my kids know it. Even the littlest one, who is just 6, and it was all I could do to keep the wheel steady when he said,
“God talks so quietly. It’s hard to hear Him, deep in my heart.”
The day had come full circle to a verse I’d heard in a lecture that morning.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk [or drive] along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
This was a “teachable moment” in which the Lord was calling me to share the Truth with my children. To till the soil of their souls by reinforcing their own observations. To confirm that this voice – God’s voice speaking in their hearts – is the One voice they need to listen to above all others. It is the seed that will bloom for them time and time again throughout their lives, particularly on dark days when the surprise of a flower is a bright spot of hope.
My job is to continue to turn over the earth, to nurture my kids’ faith with His love – Love that was planted in me long ago.
That verse from Deuteronomy commands this of me as a parent, but as I’ve also learned, obedience to God’s commands brings joy that simply doesn’t compare with any earthly happiness.
I want that joy for my kids – more than anything else in the world.
So I’m saving the bulbs, and I’ll carefully plant them again, assured of the promise that God brings life out of dark places, if only we persevere.