Have you noticed that it is far easier to get discouraged than it is to be encouraged? Turn on the news. Open up the newspaper and feel your heart plummet. We can give into that downward spiral or we can choose to spread the seeds of encouragement along our daily paths. Come on! Let’s you and I scatter some seeds of hope today!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – NIV
My driveway garden is back. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t even plant it. It just happened.
Last summer, you may recall my post entitled “Cracks.” In that post, I shared the story of my ever astounding vinca, my favorite annual flower. Well, it’s supposed to be an annual, but it turns out that this tiny plant with its luscious blooms is quite resilient. Apparently, it drops it’s tiny seeds on the ground, and they somehow find their way to weather the winter and produce bountiful blooms the next season.
The interesting thing is that the seedlings migrate to new locations. You would think that the next season’s determined little seedlings would show up in the same spot as last year’s plants, but they often do not. They move around. They seek out new spots.
They show up in my driveway. Yes, I wrote that right. A plethora of tiny vinca seedlings have made their new home in the cracks in my concrete driveway.
I thought it was a fluke last year, a happy accident caused by my watering my row of vinca pots at the top of the driveway with a sprinkler set on a timer. The sprinkler worked great to water my pots when I was traveling, but the side effect of this watering practice was surplus water running down the driveway. When the tiny seedlings began showing up in the concrete cracks, I surmised that some of the seeds from the pots had washed down the driveway with the water run-off. Indeed, it was a happy accident, one that made me chuckle every time I surveyed those gorgeous blooms.
But this year, there was no sprinkler set up, no water run-off to carry the seeds. My sweet husband installed a drip irrigation system for my pots which is working beautifully. So when the flowers began popping up through the cracks again, I had to ask my resilient little seedlings, “How in the world did you get here?”
Their only response to my query was to spread like wildfire. The plants voraciously multiplied in the old cracks and then started migrating to new cracks. They are Sprouting up everywhere, showing up with colors I have not used in several years in those parent pots. Better still, they are producing new color combinations that I have never planted anywhere in my yard.
It’s amazing! My little driveway garden not only makes Eric and me smile, but it brings out an astounded chuckle out of visitors and passersby alike. The garden is growing so wide and well that my friends have chosen a new place to park when they come for a visit!
Scattered seeds surviving and thriving. Scattered seeds finding just enough rich soil to multiply. Scattered seeds taking just a hint of encouragement, soaking up that support and using it to bring forth a bounty of bright blooms.
That’s the thing about encouragement. A little goes a long way. A kind word offered at the right time to the right person can make a huge difference. It can brighten someone’s day or save someone’s life. It can turn him from a wrong direction. It can turn her toward a Savior.
The power of encouragement cannot be overstated. It can bring light to dark situations, healing to the sick, comfort to the dying. In my years as a nurse, I saw firsthand what a little dose of encouragement can do to bring someone through a devastating health struggle. A kind word, a sweet smile, a supportive touch, a listening ear, these are the instruments of encouragement. They are easy to offer if we are open to the Spirit’s leading, if we are willing to keep the divine appointments God has placed before us.
You and I can scatter the seeds of encouragement wherever we find ourselves. Some situations are ripe for planting a good word and seeing how it grows. At other times we may be standing on hard concrete, certain that our words will fall on deaf ears. Say them anyway and let the Spirit do His work with them. You may be just what that person needs today. Your kindness may make all the difference. You may never see the garden you plant by your words of encouragement, but scatter those seeds of hope anyway. Who knows what beautiful blooms may rise up from the cracks?
I didn’t plant my driveway garden, but now that it’s here, I have set about encouraging it. I’ve given it some water and added a touch of Miracle-Gro. After all, with a little help from a friend, there’s no telling what might grow.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 – NIV
O Lord God, make us instruments of Thy peace. Open our eyes to those in need of encouragement. May our smiles bring smiles to others. Let our kind words bring comfort to those who are struggling. Help us pause and really listen to our neighbors. Show us how to scatter seeds of love along our daily paths. Water those tiny seeds, Lord, and make hope come alive.
In the Beautiful Name of Jesus, we pray,
-APS 8/16 /2021