This is an object lesson you can use to teach children about growing in God. The lesson uses a packet of vegetable seeds or a picture of a seed packet. The Bible verse is 2 Peter 3:18 and the theme is, “God wants you to do what’s right even when you don’t understand.”
Show the packet, open it, and pour some of the seeds into your hand for the children to see. Comment on how small they are now, but how big they’ll become when planted and cared for correctly. Most seed packets have a picture of the full-grown plant, so you can show it and describe the steps a seed goes through to become a plant or you may want to have the children tell you the steps.
When you plant a seed, the seed itself dies but during the process it sends out roots which always grow down and spread out. (See John 12:24.) The roots grow first and never stop growing. Then, when the roots are established, the plant will start to grow (it always grows up) and begins to sprout leaves. The plant grows toward the light since prolonged darkness will cause it to die and positions its leaves so each one receives light.
When the plant is established, it begins to bear the vegetable. (It can also help to bring in a couple of the full-grown vegetables and compare them with the seeds.) During the process, suckers often begin to grow (small branches that take nourishment away from the fruit) and need to be pruned or cut off. When ripe, the vegetables need to be picked to encourage more production.
When you believe on the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you need to establish solid “roots” so you’ll stay faithful to God. You establish them by reading, studying, and memorizing the Bible and by spending time talking with God each day. The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:18 that God wants you to grow in the Lord Jesus. Once you start setting down solid roots, you will begin to bear fruit for God!
Sometimes, when you watch a gardener prune a tree or plant, it almost looks like he or she is trying to kill it. It seems that they are cutting off way too much and the plant won’t survive. If the plant could think, it would probably think the same thing! Even though you may not understand, it’s the best thing for the plant to have so much trimmed off. It will actually grow stronger and produce more fruit because of the pruning.
Sometimes, God allows difficult things into your life. When he does, it may mean that he is at work “pruning” you. If God allows it to happen, you can trust that it will eventually work out for your good. If you have believed on Jesus as your Savior from sin, God wants you to do what’s right even when you don’t understand.