When I bought a house with a sunroom I inherited a room full of plants. “Put them outside for the summer,” were the instructions of the previous owner.
We carried out the world’s largest fern, huge peace lilies, and 12 feet tall ficus trees to the deck where they spent the warm summer months and grew without restraint. As the nights grew cold and frost threatened, we brought our plants inside to settle into their winter home. Only when we got them inside did we see how much they had prospered. The abundant sunshine and balmy nights had allowed the plants to thrive. Inside for the winter they will grow slowly and even lose a few leaves as they adjust to their less than ideal environment.
We all enjoy the places in our lives that suit us well, when we grow and thrive.
But, like the ficus and fern, we may have to come in for a season and reside temporarily in a less than ideal situation. What does God expect from us in these circumstances? The same thing he expected from the Israelites in their time of captivity. God’s instructions to His people when they found themselves in a strange environment were:
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29: 4-7).
God wants us to continue to grow, honor Him, and do what we are created to do no matter where we are. Even in less than favorable circumstances or an environment that is foreign and uncomfortable for you, do your best to grow and maintain your productivity. God is still looking for followers who will grow where they are planted and are strong and healthy when it is time to step out into the sunshine again.
…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
Calling on the Master Gardener: Lord, circumstances will not always be perfect but Your love and plans for me are. Help me to grow in all the seasons and circumstances of my life, even the painful or uncomfortable ones. Thank You for the times when I can grow and experience abundant grace and blessings. Amen.
Preparing the Soil:
Are your current circumstances ideal for spiritual growth or are you facing challenges?
If you are in a favorable time of life, what can you do to maximize your growth?
Sowing the Word: Think about a situation in your life that is less than ideal. How can you continue to grow in this area? What can you do to take advantage of your current circumstances or situation to grow in spite of the challenges?
Establishing Roots: Jeremiah 29, Philippians 4:11-13
Garden Wisdom: When bringing plants in for the winter be sure to eradicate any insects first and then place the plant in a place that will provide the same amount and direction of sun it had outside. Cut back on watering and do not fertilize over the winter.
I hope you are still growing no matter what circumstances you are facing. Believe that God always has your best interest at heart! ~ Mary