How do you make a lily grow?
You do need to give it enough sunlight.
It has to get adequate water.
And good soil is important to nourish its roots.
Blessing and praying for it won’t hurt.
And talking (nicely) to your plants seems to impart some benefit, too.
But mostly, you just have to wait.
Because you. can’t. make a lily grow… you can’t!
I love the Frog and Toad Together story “The Garden,” in which poor toad works himself to exhaustion talking, reading, singing, and even playing his violin to his seeds to get them finally to sprout and peek out of the ground. Yet hidden they remain.
So finally, as instructed, he simply rests and waits. At last the tendrils of green begin pushing up through the rich, damp soil, and he rejoices, but notes that growing them was “very hard work”!
And so it is with my spiritual growth:
I do have a part to play in my own soul’s maturing. Neglected like an unwatered, unfed, untended lily, it will wither.
As God explains in His own gardening guide…
Seed sown by the wayside… gets trampled down, and… devoured by birds
… on rock… withers away because it lacks moisture.
sown among thorns…, the thorns choke it out.
Only on good ground, does it spring up, and yield bountifully
says the LORD:
“Break up your fallow ground,
And do not sow among thorns”
“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,
and should sleep by night and rise by day,
and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.”
because…As the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations (Isaiah 61:11)
So then, neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters,
but God who gives the increase
Cooperating with the Master Gardener, and resting in Him.
Linked to Still Saturday