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When You Plant in the Dark


I thought I’d waited too late.

When the paper bag with the picture of cheery tulips on the front tumbled off my pantry shelf late last October, the appropriate season for bulb-planting had passed. Snow and freezing temperatures—the first of a surely long Colorado winter–had been predicted for that night. The bulbs, papered bits falling out of their partial-mesh package, had been forgotten after they’d been put away.

I glanced out the window at the gathering darkness, then back at the bag on my floor. Surely the ground out there was hard.   Since we’d only moved in a few months before, I had no idea if it had ever been amended with compost, or whether the area would drain well. Surely it was too late, now? Surely it would be a waste of time to find a shovel in the dark

But the picture on the bag made the rounded lumps look like secret promises just waiting to be given a chance to reveal their true nature.

I found my shoes and headed out into the dark in search of a shovel. Soon, the plump, dry lumps were being gently tucked into cold, dry holes in the ground.  I thought about other times I’d planted in the dark.

Planted when the toddler seemed too young to take it in, when the teen’s heart was hard, when it was cold and I was tired and snow was coming anyway and the right time seemed to have passed.  Planted because the seed was good, and the Maker of the seed promised that if I would plant it, it would grow.

The safest place for a bulb late in the season–even “too late”–is deep in the ground.

That night, the promised snow came.  The ground hardened and browned and finally was covered in white.   All winter long I’ve watched that bed, wondering; watching its emptiness, thinking of the possibilities of hidden treasure underneath. When we walked past my nieghbors’ yard yesterday, we were tickled to see these …


They probably planted theirs on time, I thought. Digging in the dark all those months ago would probably just yield dirty fingernails and chilly cheeks.

And then today, the snow melted off the bed–most of it, anyway.  I almost tiptoed …  surely mine were still hiding, or maybe they’d never even come up.  I had to go look.


See them?  Aren’t they wonderful?

Okay, so they’re not wonderful, yet.  But they will be.  I see it in the young ones who tell me about the friend they shared Jesus with on the playground.  I see it in the teens now-turned-adults who are turning, too, back toward home, in the friendships which have seen their own winters now blossoming beautiful.

Mom and Dad tending gardens in your home, can I encourage you to trust your seed?

Trust the Scriptures.

Trust Love.

Trust Jesus, Himself.

Keep digging and pulling weeds.  Keep adding compost and setting up fences.  Whatever you do, don’t stop planting.  Even if it seems too late; even if you’re planting in the dark.

He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” Psalm 126:6

He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers” 1 Cor. 3:8-9

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient” James 5:7-8

Your harvest?  It will come.


Misty Krasawski


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