One of the things I love about Instagram is following fun, inspiring people. On June 29th, while I was at a writer’s conference, I scrolled on a break and saw @laracasey (the creator of PowerSheets) had posted an adorable picture of her son at a tomato farm. I’d guess he’s four years old and is standing among tall rows of tomato plants, wearing a big floppy hat and some rainboots. He’s holding up a giant ripe tomato and looks like he’s ready to take a bite. It’s so cute.
As I looked at the photo, I noticed varying colors of the tomatoes. Some were a deep red, ready to be picked like the baseball-sized one in his hand. Others were shades of light green and pale orange, indicating they needed more time on the vine.
It struck me: we are like those tomatoes.
God’s timing on this was perfect. My seeing this photo on this very day was not a coincidence.
I already mentioned that I was at a writer’s conference. I loved being there and was learning so much. But one of the things that can happen when you’re surrounded by other people who are doing what you want to be doing is that you begin to make comparisons. You see book tables with authors who have already published books and you wonder What is taking me so long? Why hasn’t my book been accepted and released out into the world yet? Will it ever happen?
I’d been having those thoughts that day, but things changed when I saw Lara’s photo. God reminded me of how we’re all works in progress and are on our own timeline. Some tomatoes will ripen before others, but it doesn’t mean they’re more valuable. It just means they were ready sooner. Other tomatoes need more time on the vine, but perhaps it will make their taste and texture even sweeter.
I don’t know what you’re working toward. Maybe it’s a book, like me. Or maybe it’s finishing your degree, building a business or losing weight. You’re making strides but can get hard on yourself because you’re not doing it as fast as someone else.
Here’s some truth for us today:
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Philippians 1:6 NLT
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:4-5 NIV
Let’s stop comparing our progress or our success with someone else’s. Let’s trust God’s timing for us. As we’re waiting, let’s stay close to Him as He prepares us. Our day of ripening will come and it will be beautiful.