It's been a short wet cold summer here in Portland. More days without sunshine than usual. And that is evident by looking at my garden. I planted three different varieties of tomatoes this year. Roma, Early Girl and Better Boy. Three plants is all I normally need to have all the tomatoes we would consume in a summer. But this year only the Roma plant is producing red ripe fruit. Our summer is over and fall is here... and there have been no red ripe Early Girls (ha!) and no Better Boys (I had actually paid $9.98 on a larger plant so that it would produce fruit quicker!).
And I have to admit that I was a little frustrated as I stood looking at them on Saturday. There were plenty of tomatoes just waiting to turn yellow then orange then red. But they were green. All of them. And my flesh was considering ripping the Early Girl and Better Boy plants out of the ground roots and all. But I didn't.
Instead, I focused on the Roma plant. The plant that was producing fruit. Red ripe fruit in abundance. And I thought that I should make sure that it gets every last drop of sunshine this state could afford. So I moved some of its branches around and then realized that the Early Girl and Better Boy plants were collecting some of the sunshine that could have gone to the Roma plant. And, again, instead of ripping out the two non-producers, I cut them back. I left some of their unripened fruit with some faint hint of hope they might actually surprise me. But I knew for sure that the Roma would continue to produce, so it was getting all of my attention... and all of the sunshine it could possibly get.
I realized I was giving more sunshine to the producing plant and less sunshine to the non-producing plants. The more was receiving more... and the less was receiving less. Not because of any reason except that I knew the season was quickly coming to an end... and I knew the Roma would produce fruit... and lots of it.
More given more. Less having even what it had taken from it. I mean... we're talking sunshine here and tomato plants, right? But my spirit was stirred and I started to think of the verses that Jesus spoke about this very thing...
Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.
Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
I am coming soon.
Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.