Since moving to the far north of New Zealand three years ago, gardening has been a new and exciting experience. With the ‘growing plan’ for the garden consisting of anything I can eat, the opportunities for variety are endless. With room and a climate for fruit trees, my first choice was - just because I could - bananas!
With a great deal more hope than knowledge our first fruit tree, a dwarf banana (Mons Mari) was planted. I was disturbed a couple of months later, however, to find that the tree which I had been nurturing had died off. Armed only with the little knowledge I had gained by that time I cut off the trunk (all two feet of it!) at ground level and waited to see what would happen.
Several months later I found that springing up from the empty ground there were several shoots which looked decided like the beginnings of banana palms. Well, they grew and they grew over the next two plus years and Irish and I have looked forward to ‘The Day’ when we would see the flowers and fruit of our hope. A couple of months ago I was at garden club and got some advice from a very experienced gardener. I decided from what she said that I had missed the banana train for this year and should expect bananas next year.
It was with considerable surprise about a month ago that Irish discovered the easily recognisable flower of the banana in one of the palms. We oohed and aahed before I rushed (yeah, right!) inside for the camera. I had in mind just how the flower and fruit would develop but my knowledge by then was based on a very neglected standard banana palm across the road from where we live.
Over the past month I have watched with amazement as petal after petal has begun to lift and reveal some fifteen small bananas. By today’s count there are something in the region of 150 bananas poking out from the security of their hiding places. How many more petals will reveal these rich rewards I don’t know, but I do know that I am enjoying the journey of anticipation.
As he so often does, God reveals much through my garden. The anticipation in planting the banana, the disappointment when my expectations were not fulfilled. These are part of the journey we have as Christians – the highs and lows of our faith. We cannot see what is happening ‘underground’ in the dark places where God plants the seeds of our faith.
Timing is an issue that always seems to come to the forefront of faith. It is so easy to think that God is not doing anything to help when in fact what he is doing, is waiting for the optimum moment in time to provide the maximum blessing. How often do we stunt our own growth by trying to do things our way instead of the perfect way?
The excitement of finding the signs - flowers and fruit in our lives - can send us off on a tangent. Instead of waiting to see what God has formed us to be, we add and subtract, come up with the wrong answer, and miss out on God’s perfect plan for our lives. The optimum sweetness doesn’t come from a fruit that has been picked even one day too early.
Why can’t we just accept that there is a time and a season for everything in our lives? Seed time and harvest are equally important – in the garden and in life – and waiting for God to fulfil plans can be full of anticipation and excitement. With patience comes perfection, so why choose any other way?
Hmmmm...I know a bit about growing bananas as one sister has a tiny farm here in north part of Singapore. She grows many types of tropical fruit trees of which one is the banana.
Yes, a lot of effort and patience go into this cultivation. They indeed go through many types of development before the fruit can be harvested.
God indeed watches over the development of this fruit tree. In fact, as surely as He watches over all other trees, He also watches over the development and growing process of our lives and our Christian lives.
Thanks for sharing, Sister Kiwibird
From Hwa Silverpen
What a fun blog and with a great message too! I can't imagine living in a climate that supports banana trees! Cool! I know you like bananas...but will you STILL like them when you have 150+ bananas ripe and ready to be picked and eaten? haha ENJOY the gift and thank you for such a great reminder!