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Spring SurpriseSpring Surprise
by Tom Norvell


    Last fall I planted flowers in our yard. This is my first experience at trying to get something to grow. I dug the holes, placed the bulbs in the holes, covered the holes with potting soil, watered them, and basically left them alone. As the temperatures of fall and winter continued to drop I wondered if they would survive. Quite frankly, I was not real optimistic about my ability as a gardener.

    As winter passed and the warm sunshine of early spring arrived I became increasingly more interested in what might appear. One day there were stems poking through the dirt. They grew taller and taller. Then there were blooms that appeared waiting to open. Suddenly they began to open. There were real tulips blooming in our yard. Red tulips. Orange (actually sort of soft peach color) tulips. I even have few purple tulips (unless last night’s freeze killed them). I have been ecstatic with the flowers that have bloomed.

    But there was some disappointment in that there were only tulips. You see I had also planted daffodils. They are my favorite. Since I did not remember where I planted what particular flower, I really didn’t know where to look. But, I did know that I was not seeing daffodils anywhere and that made me sad. Then, one day last week an amazing thing happened. Those things that had sprung up in a circle around my mailbox turned out to be daffodils. Huge daffodils. Bright solid yellow daffodils and yellow and white daffodils. I was thrilled! I’m still thrilled.

I am thrilled that the seed I planted produced fruit.
    Why am I so excited about flowers? Some may have their own answer for that question, but here’s mine. I am thrilled that the seed I planted produced fruit. Bulbs became flowers. I was not sure I would ever see any real results from my days in the soil. I’m not taking credit for it. All I did was plant the seed remember. God watered. God provided the sunshine. God put the proper nutrients in the soil. God produced the flowers. But, I helped. I planted the seed.

    Not long ago I received an email from a young lady that we had known when she was a college student. My wife and I loved her. We encouraged her. I even had the privilege of baptizing her. We had not heard from her in over twenty years. Somehow she came across one of my articles and sent me a note telling me of her life. Though there has been some sadness, she is still serving the Lord and raising children to serve the Lord. As I read the email, I realized that seed we were able to plant in her heart has taken root and is now producing beautiful fruit for God. All we did was plant some seed. God did the rest.

    I am able to enjoy flowers in our yard because I planted the seed. I am enjoying a kind of joy in life today because of fruit that is being produced from seed that was planted years ago. Some who are reading this note will, I hope, will see these words as flowers that are blooming because of seed that you planted in my heart decades ago. Thank you for having faith to plant the seed. Thank you for showing me the value in planting seed.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seed.” (John 12:24, NIV)

    Keep planting those seeds. God has a surprise in store for you.

      © 2002, Tom Norvell. Used by permission. A Norvell Note is a weekly email message from Tom Norvell. Check it out!

      Title: "Spring Surprise"
      Author: Tom Norvell
      Publication Date: April 5, 2002


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