By no means could I be considered “a green thumb.” I’ve had colds longer than I’ve been able to nurture houseplants, and my gardening attempts are usually over by June. However, I’ve had a few plants that have stayed with me since Kassandra walked into eternity. They’ve been living in cramped quarters, so I decided that today was the day to move them. I was also gifted those two beautiful tomato plants, and they needed a new container, and quick!
What I’ve noticed in my last few years of playing around in the dirt is how very much like the plants our life is. How the lessons Jesus taught are real and applicable in this crazy, technological time we call our normal daily lives.
There’s the soil you’re planted in. Is it dry? Hard? Lost all of the nutrients that you need? When I pulled the ivy and potted palm out of the small containers, oh my!!! That soil was depleted. Dry. It felt like styrofoam.
In Hosea, chapter 10, God calls us to break up our fallow ground, to seek Him and wait on Him.
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
My heart has been so dry. I’ve had a conversation with Him about this, and why. Am I angry? AmI angry at Him? What’s going on? Questions I don’t like to ask, but yet, I must. I MUST break up that fallow ground and add in the nutrients of His word, prayer, confession and repentance. Add fresh, Biblical perspective.
I was amazed by the root ball on my potted palm. Even though the ground was dry and barely useful any more, the roots were supple and long. My ivy, too, was supple and all tangled up with each other. They held on to the water, the very thing that kept them alive and growing. In Colossians, Chapter 2, the Apostle Paul teaches us to stay rooted in Christ, so that when hard times come, we can stand with thanksgiving.
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
I won’t lie, standing strong in the storm of losing my daughter has been hard. I want, more than I admit, to curl up in a ball and cry. I want to rage, scream, raise an angry fist to God and scream out, “WHY???? Why, Lord, did this need to be?” I want to wake up and hear her voice, being annoyed at her brothers over their laundry being left in the washer, or some other thing that they routinely argued over. To hear her laugh. Smell her scent.
Reality hits hard; that will not happen. That is when I MUST rely on those roots, the roots that have been growing since I came to faith as a teenager. That were a little stunted for a while, then continued to flourish. Like the plants, like the garden, like the farms and fields, I need not only to break up that ground, but I need to give those roots nourishment. I need to soak in His Word, to listen and be still. Only in Him, only in His Word, do I find that rest, that renewal, that nourishment I need to face the hard days. To walk in His ways.
Plants need tending. They need attention, water, fresh air, nourishment and care. So does your soul, dear grieving friends. Don’t try to go it alone. Don’t cut off from the Source of Life. Stay rooted in Him, soak yourself in the water of His Living Word. Feed on His promises and fellowship with others (I know it’s hard right now with #Pandemic2020, but reach out to someone).
This was on my mind today when I woke up. He is the Waymaker, Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness. Trust Him today.