Our pastor spoke last week about the amazing extravagance of God. He mentioned the stars – in numbers way beyond our comprehension. He mentioned the variety and complexity of all the different species. The uniqueness of snowflakes and fingerprints. He demonstrated the astounding, mind-blowing generosity of God.
A little while ago I blogged on my tomato plants (Sweet memories, 11 Sept). Just to update you, despite their wrong season start, and even despite my scrappy gardening skills, and serious neglect, they did produce quite a decent crop of excellent fruit – just as tasty as mummy tomato. In fact, there are still the last few ripening by the window inside. Of course I have taken some of the seeds and put them away for next year. And my next door neighbour has some too. There will be far too many for me to grow myself, so I’ll give some away. In those few tomatoes, there is the potential for thousands of those tiny taste bombs! And if we planted even just a small proportion of those, imagine how many tomatoes we could grow the next year. Cheshire tomato farmers better watch out! The possibility of fruitfulness is only limited by the space and soil to plant them.
So it would be for Abram in Genesis 15 v 5. His potential fruitfulness was only comparable to the amazing extravagance of the countless stars. But he is not the only one. God has placed creativity and fruitfulness within all of us – in all sorts of areas, with promises that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can achieve so much. I think about the parable of the sower (Matthew 13). The environment was the limiting factor, not the seed. The seed had no legs to get up and walk into a nice patch of soil. But I have! Am I choosing the best environment to position myself in, so that I will achieve all that God has put within me? If my terribly neglected cherry tomatoes can achieve so much with all their disadvantages, what should I be doing with all the privileges I have! If I don’t achieve much, it’s not God’s fault.