God’s Orchard

One day, the Lord walked in His garden
and began to plant seeds. When He was
finished planting, He went to rest.
Each day, He would come back and tend
to the orchard. He would see how mighty
and strong some of the seeds had become.
Each held fruit that weighed heavily on
its branches. He would prune them and
shape them so that they would bear even more
fruit than before. He would take the fruit
down from the trees once it was ripe and
store it in the storehouse.

One day, one of the little seeds
began to think to himself.
“I have been planted for quite some time.
I was not alone when I was planted,
yet some of those who were planted
with me are now gone. Their seed plots
are empty. Some never made it into
the ground because the soil was much too
hard to get into the ground. Some of
them sprang up quickly but died. And then
there is me…why am I so different?”

He began to look around the garden
at all of the other mighty trees that
had sprung up from seeds just
like him. He became ashamed and began to
weep bitterly. One of the trees in
the orchard heard him crying and looked
down on him with pity.

“Tell me little seed….why do you weep so?”

“I am ashamed that I am different from
the others here. I have watched since the
day the Master of the Orchard
set me in the earth, and I have
done nothing. Some that were planted
with me sprang up and were choked
by the weeds, others that were once
here with me are now gone…
their seed plots are empty.”

“Little seed, you are no different from the rest
of us here.” Said the mighty tree.

“But each one of you are tall and strong.
You bring forth pleasant fruit and
the Master delights in you.
He comes daily and speaks to each of you
for hours at a time.
He does not speak to me. He used to slow
His steps when He passed me,
as if watching me, but now I no
longer watch for Him. I fear that He just
quickly walks past me.”

“Little seed, you do not understand
the Master, do you? The Master is a gentle
gardener. He will not force you to
do anything. He is watching you, every day.
He looks on in anticipation, hoping
that one day, you will spring forth from
the ground.” Said the tree.

“But how? How do I grow? I don’t understand.
I am different, can’t you see that…
I cannot grow like the rest
of you.” Cried the little seed.

“I will tell you how to grow.
You must first be fed. Listen to
the Master’s words as He walks through
the garden each day. Pay careful attention
to them, for each word from His lips
is food for your body. Also, you will
need to be watered. This can only come
through the tears of joy that the Master
will shower you with, once you begin
talking to Him.
Do you understand now little seed?
Do you see that you are no different,
you just have done nothing
to make yourself grow.”

The little seed smiled up at the
large tree and became very quiet, for he
heard the Master coming into
the garden. He listened as the Master’s
voice echoed through the garden.
The Master spoke tenderly to his beloved
trees. Gathering fruit, pruning their
branches, and singing with joy.

Suddenly, the little seed heard the
Master’s footsteps drawing closer to him.
He was frightened for a moment;
he held his breath
and finally forced himself to speak.

“Good morning, Master!”
The little seed shouted as
the Lord passed near him.

Suddenly, the Lord stopped and looked
at the ground where He had planted
the little seed all those
years ago. There it was, a tiny little
piece of green sticking through
the soil. With great care the Master
came and pushed some of the soil
away from the little sprout that had
come forth, careful that it wouldn’t be
crowded or choked by the weeds. He began to
speak lovingly to the little seed
and soon, tears of joy fell from
His cheeks. The little seed felt the
healing water wash over him.

That day, the Lord spent the entire day
speaking only to the little seed.
They talked about everything that
came to mind. The little seed finally
realized what it took to grow.
He finally realized that the Master
had been waiting on him each day…
hoping that he would understand enough
to begin the process.

Now the little seed is still a tender
sapling, but he is thankful to the tree
that showed him how to grow.
Each tree in the garden is there
for a reason. Those who are mighty
and tall help those who are still young.
They help block the bright sunlight
through their shade. They offer support
because their roots intertwine.
But none could be there without
the care of the Master.

Tony Turpin
Used with permission