Seeds are not Slow

Franciscan Bluebells at Gavilan Falls, New Mexico
Franciscan Bluebells at KExploring to Gavilan Falls, New Mexico

Seeds are an amazing part of God’s creation.  They are formed by a parent plant to carry on the identity, beauty, and/or form of the original plant.  Without seeds, the line of plants will die out.  So God created a way for plants to reproduce themselves.

Wildflowers that have gone to seed, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, New Mexico
Wildflowers that have gone to seed, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, New Mexico

Inside of a seed is life.  But a seed doesn’t come to life immediately.  Instead, it sits in or on the ground, usually until the next season, so that it can sprout and make its own seeds that feed the next season’s plant growth.  By lying dormant for a time, the seed makes sure that it can grow fully mature before the next season.  If it grew up immediately, it would not have time to mature and produce seeds before the next season – which is too cold for the plant to grow.

And then there are the flowers that survive summer snowstorms...  Swiftcurrent Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana
And then there are the flowers that survive summer snowstorms… Swiftcurrent Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

Some seeds lie only for a year.  Others don’t even wait that long.  But others can lie dormant for five or more years before they come to life.  The seeds wait patiently until the conditions are right for the seeds to succeed in growing to maturity.

Flowers that have lost their seeds, Chimney Bluffs State Park, New York
Flowers that have lost their seeds, Chimney Bluffs State Park, New York

Lodgepole pines drop pine cones like any other evergreen, but the seeds inside of the pine cones are sealed in resin.  The seeds will not be released and sprout until a wildfire comes through the forest and melts the resin.  The fire clears the forest and gives the seeds an open area where the baby pines can grow to maturity.  If they grew every year, the bigger trees would crowd out the baby trees and keep them from reaching maturity.

Baby pine trees in Webster Park, New York
Baby pine trees in Webster Park, New York

The seeds of wildflowers lie in the ground of Death Valley National Park and the Mojave Desert.  Every ten to fifteen years, enough rain falls in the spring to create a “superbloom,” where the seeds all suddenly sprout to life, growing to maturity to drop seeds that will sprout in another ten to fifteen years.  The seeds know enough to wait until the conditions are right that they will have the moisture they need to grow to maturity, thereby ensuring that they can pass on seeds to grow another superbloom when the time is right.

Wildflowers in the desert of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
Wildflowers in the desert of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

God has put seeds inside of each one of us.  Some of those seeds are ideas and promises of what God will do.  Others are desires in our hearts or God-directed plans.  It can be discouraging sometimes to look back at what God has told us and promised us when we haven’t seen the fulfillment of what He said.  We can see the seeds that He planted in our hearts, but there doesn’t even seem to be a plant, let alone any fruit or fulfillment.

Sarah Deming Trail, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Sarah Deming Trail, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona

Like seeds in the forest or in the desert of Death Valley, the seeds in our lives are lying dormant.  They’re not dead – a 2,000-year-old seed was germinated and grew into a date palm – but they are waiting.  God knows that unless the conditions and seasons in our lives are right, the seeds that He has planted will not be able to grow to maturity.  So He waits to let the seeds grow until the time is right.

Cactus blossom in Hellhole Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
Cactus blossom in Hellhole Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you” (2 Peter 3:9).  When the season is right, the seeds of promise and desires and dreams will grow.  When we wait for the right season for these seeds to sprout and grow, it means that those seeds will have the time and conditions they need to mature.  In maturity, the plants will be able to produce fruit and seeds to carry on the identity of the original plant – not just to grow green and leafy so you can show off the temporary fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives.