I must have a brown thumb.
I’ve been trying to grow herbs from seed, and this year, I even tried using my own harvested cilantro seeds from last year. I thought I was being agriculturally adept. It felt close to stepping out back to gather eggs or milk the cow before breakfast.
But it’s been well over a month, and here’s how my cilantro looks.
It’s not pretty. In fact, I think all I’m growing is mildew.
I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed all the instructions for drying the seeds, and I carefully stored them and planted them at the proper depth. I watered them regularly and gave them good soil. I put them in my sunniest window sill to germinate.
But I got nothin’.
Yesterday, I was taking advantage of the sunshine and sitting on our deck, reading. I’d put last year’s plants in the shade along the side of our building. I looked over, and I noticed something green peeking out from atop one of the larger pots.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” I said, loudly enough that Dan wandered out to see what I was worked up about.
Apparently, a few of the cilantro seeds that I didn’t manage to harvest survived the winter and sprouted into beautiful, healthy cilantro plants. Let’s not forget that they were under the awning and had no way of getting water.
I’m worried that if I start taking care of them, they’re going to die with all that attention. They seem to thrive on being neglected and malnourished.
Other than learning a lesson about my pathetic gardening skills, I also took to heart something about the way God works in my life.
Sometimes, I’ll have a goal, something I want to accomplish that makes a lot of sense, something I can justify biblically, intellectually, and with the full support of my friends and family. But it’s not God’s timing, or perhaps it’s not his exact plan.
This happens quite frequently with writing projects or ministries that I want to do. I dive in, giving it my all, and then it falls short. I don’t get the writing contract. People don’t get involved in the ministry. And I’m discouraged.
But then God brings the project to life in a new way, often a very surprising and unexpected one. A new publisher asks me to submit a very similar writing project. The same ministry opens up, just at a different time or in a different location.
My little cilantro plants should have grown. I followed all the rules. But it didn’t happen, and I got discouraged. But surprisingly, I was growing healthy cilantro plants without even realizing it! I just needed to know where to look and to be patient to find them.