Seed Catalogues and the Hope of Eternity

The cold, dreary days of December and January are very hard for us gardeners. We long to get our hands in the dirt, to see the garden filled with greenery and colorful blossoms, and to see tiny fruits growing larger daily. We want to be busy tying vines to trellises, pulling weeds from our neat rows of vegetables, and watering and fertilizing our garden beds until the plants are so large they hide the borders and transform the landscape. But those things are only faint dreams in the dead of winter. During those cold winter months we need something to keep our gardening hopes and dreams alive and to motivate us to be ready when spring comes. That’s where junk mail comes to the rescue. All those seed catalogues that others use to light their fireplaces or to throw in the recycle bin are a breath of life to gardeners in the winter. I have specifically told my husband not to toss those catalogues when they come. They are a source of inspiration and keep in my mind a vision of what is to come in the spring. I enjoy flipping through the pages of colorful blossoms, vivid greenery and lush vegetables and imagining them in my own fallow beds, which are looking so empty and dead right now. The catalogues remind me it won’t be long until the first hint of spring arrives and I can enjoy the reality of all that beauty which is just a dream right now.

Far worse than the condition of my garden in January is the current condition of the world. As I look through the news, disturbed by the violent, godless state of the world, I realize that just as in the winter I keep my mind on the promise of spring, so too, as I look at our sin-laden world, I need to keep my mind on the promise of Jesus’ return. Yes, things are in disarray, and only getting worse right now. But just as I find hope and inspiration in those seed catalogues, so I can find hope and encouragement that Jesus will set things right, not in the junk mail, but in the precious and living Word of God. As we pour over the pages of God’s word, we get a vision of eternity when we will be face to face with the Lord.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also."

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words."

The words of scripture are words of life to us as we live in these dark times of godlessness. As we more and more see the fulfillment of end-times prophecy, as people become more lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, (2 Tim. 3:2), we can be living in anticipation of Christ’s return. Just as I envision my garden as it will look in spring, we can have a vision for the glory that is to be revealed to us as we wait eagerly and patiently for it. It feeds Hope into our souls; for we hope for what we do not see – yet (see Romans 8:18-25.) 

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Those seed catalogues help me anticipate spring, and they also inspire me to prepare for it. I order seeds and I plant them in pots and keep them in the window where they will have opportunity to sprout and grow. I fertilize them and eventually I will move them outside to a sheltered area to harden off, then they will be planted in the garden and all the glorious visions in my head will become a reality.

So also, as we anticipate the glory of eternity with Christ, we are encouraged to prepare for it.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

We are expected to live holy lives, to say “no” to sin and to be self-controlled. That is part of the waiting, being purified to be Christ’s very own. Just as a gardener works to be ready for spring, so believers should be preparing for eternity now, doing the hard work of being holy so when Christ returns and we jump into eternity we will be fully ready.

"May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones."

When the time comes in early spring when the soil has warmed and the nights no longer threatens frost, I never regret the work I did in winter to prepare. I have healthy seedlings I plant in the garden that will take off and grow quickly. Those who didn’t work in the winter will have gardens far behind mine. I will be reaping veggies and flowers long before they do because I anticipated spring and kept the vision of summer in my mind. And also, as a child of God anticipating eternity with Him, I keep a vision of His glory in my heart, eagerly and patiently waiting for Him, but taking the time in winter to prepare for His coming.

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."

Yes, we are in the dark days of the end times, it looks like the dead of winter. But spring is coming!

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

Picture of Janet Gruchacz

Janet Gruchacz

Family & Admissions Coordinator