Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Planting tomatoes taught me about God's Love

Healed for a Purpose
A devotional by Casey Wayne

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
—2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)

Over the last few years I have started to do some gardening.

Last spring we moved to a new city and I already felt behind on my gardening plans. I wanted the garden to be as successful as possible and excitedly waited for any signs of vegetables to appear.

As blooms transformed into vegetables my excitement increased in anticipation of cooking with them and being able to say I grew them myself. One day, as I rushed out to the backyard to water the garden and check the plants, I noticed some of the tomatoes had busted open. In defeat, I threw a couple over the fence. About a week later I saw a couple more I must have missed. The lines where they had busted were now covered with a grayish, scarring like material. Assuming that it was not worth keeping, I also threw those over the fence.

A few hours later, as my husband and I discussed our day, I started sharing what I had discovered over the last week in the garden. He looked at me confused as I recounted the experience. Then, as I mentioned how I had thrown them over the fence he looked shocked. Before I could finish my story he blurted out, “Why did you do that?” After sharing my logic, he chuckled a bit, and told me how they just busted from an excess of water, but it does not make them unusable. They just burst from too much water but then begin to heal.

I'm so thankful our Heavenly Father (God) sees us the way my husband saw those tomatoes. Psalm 147:3 (ESV) says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Sometimes we get overwhelmed and we start to break under the pain or stress this imperfect world inflicts on us. But the grace and hope of our faithful God redeems, restores and heals us. Just like those tomatoes I found in my garden, the Almighty can heal the damage we experience in this life. Those imperfections and scars leave a mark reminding us of what we have been through, but the important thing to remember is that God can use all things for His glory.

As my husband reassured me that the tomatoes are fine, it reminded me that we are never too far gone to be unlovable or unusable by the Almighty God we serve. Our stories of healing and hope become a light to others who need to connect with Jesus Christ. There is nothing we can do that takes us too far for Jesus to heal us or use us for His Kingdom purposes. Let’s read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV) where Paul tells the believers in Corinth, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

No matter who you are or what you have been through, God loves you, can restore you and has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). If you are in a season of life where you need healing, come to the feet of Jesus and give Him your pain. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in you, healing all the brokenness so that, in His timing, your story can become a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your love and hope. Thank you for the gift of Jesus, who saved us from our sin. I humbly ask for Your healing and restoration in my life. Create in me a new creation for Your purposes. Open my heart to the work of the Holy Spirit so that You may redeem my brokenness for Your glory.

In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Look What You’ve Done” by Tasha Layton. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Casey Wayne is a wife and mother of two children. 

She enjoys time with her family doing simple things like movie nights and cooking together.

As a devotional writer, Casey strives to share her story with relatable honesty, showing how God is faithful throughout the big and small moments of life.

She has a heart for encouraging the faith walk of other moms, praying they gain a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father.

Her family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

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