I put two avocado seeds in my shower window to see if I could get them to sprout. You can find the directions I used at the Village Garden’s website if you would like to try this yourself. It will take about 3 to 6 weeks before roots and leaves appear, the directions say.
Mostly I have just left the seeds alone. Occasionally, when I happened to remember, I added water to the seeds’ containers. One morning this week, I did notice the water level in the containers was a little low. Instead of just adding water, I decided to check my seeds to see what they had been up to. The left-hand seed in the photo above had split, but nothing else was happening. The other seed had split and, as you can see, a strong white inch-plus root had pushed its way out.
“Had it been six weeks?” I wondered. I didn’t record the date I put the seeds in the windowsill, but I do remember what had been going on in my life then. So in order to try and calculate the approximate time the seeds had been sitting in water, I began thinking about things that had happened since I placed them there.
While that avocado root was forming and pushing its way out of the pit with no one in the world watching:
- My daughter went from despairing over math to happy surprise when she found out she had an ‘A’ in the course she had been laboring over for weeks.
- Greece formed a new government, a city in California filed for bankruptcy, and the U.S. unemployment rate rose to over 8 percent.
- My three-month-old grandson, rolled over for the first time.
- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the controversial health-care bill, and my dad, who up to this point would have never ever thought about leaving his farm, had thoughts of moving to Australia.
- Colorado burned while Florida experienced flash floods.
- My dad turned seventy-five.
- My son-in-law took an out-of-the-blue job offer and, within two weeks, my daughter’s family moved back to Florida – an answer to a long awaited prayer.
- My eighty-plus year old aunt started chemo.
- Thousands of people in Syria were killed.
- My daughter-in-law’s mom found out her rented townhome was being sold and that she would have to move out.
- My friend’s daughter had a baby in South Africa a few days after her husband had a heart attack in Colorado.
It hit me, in the shower as most worthwhile thoughts do, that, from the unnoticed growth of one avocado root in my shower to the catastrophic headlines splattered over the global news, God was in control of it all.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
This passage, and many more (see some below), remind me God is in control, God is good, God’s plan is good, and that he will bring his plan about for his glory. And when God accomplishes his purposes and upholds his glory through something as seemingly insignificant as the growth of one root and the dormancy of another, or something as seemingly significant as the fall of a nation and the rise of a new government, I must remember that God is upholding his glory, yes, for his sake but also for the good of those who love him – for those who are called according to his purpose. So in both the seeds that sprout and those that don’t – in both the bad and the good – I can find rest for my soul.
And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21:44-45
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts. 1 Samuel 2:6-7
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:10-11
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. Psalm 135:6-7
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. Psalm 147:15-18
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble. Proverbs 16:4
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
he turns it wherever he will. Proverbs 21:11
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord. Proverbs 21:31
This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
and who will turn it back? Isaiah 14:26-27
For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David. Isaiah 37:35
Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back? Isaiah 43:13
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9b-10
Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come? Lamentations 3:37-38
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, Ephesians 1:11
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 2 Timothy 1:8-9
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. Revelation 3:7