The New Church Lady

Weightier Matters

LESSON FROM A PLANT ASSASSIN

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a green thumb and 10 being plant assassin, I come precariously close to being a 10. My saving grace is that I have managed to get some rose bushes so firmly established that they thrive even if there is a bad year, weather-wise, or if I neglect them for weeks at a time. The key being that they are so firmly established that they can make it through tough times (man-made or nature made). 

I give myself a 9-ish on that scale, at least this week, because I nearly lost all my newly purchased vegetable plants. You see, I have been traveling for work and working some long hours in the office, when I am in town. However, with my usual enthusiasm for buying vegetable plants at the start of spring, I had stocked up at Lowes a little over a week ago without considering the fact that I would not be able to plant them the next few days, or even in that next week. Therefore, I was disheartened (but not too surprised) to find Friday, when I did make home in time to get down to the hot house to check on my plants, that all of my plants were as limp as an over-cooked spaghetti noodle. 

They’d had plenty of sunlight and Wes had watered them regularly while I was out of town, but they lacked the foundation of deep soil in which to spread out their roots and become established. The water drained out or evaporated and the sun became their enemy instead of their friend. 

Jesus warned us that “wilting away” is what happens when we are not firmly established in the fertile soil of Jesus. 

We find the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13. Jesus tells it to the crowd but then later explains it to His disciples.

Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21 [NIV] (emphasis mine) 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. ... 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Or, as the King James Version says, they are “offended.” 

We think of the spring Holy Day season as a time to examine ourselves, and this is right and good. We are told to do so. It says in 1Corinthains 11:28 [NIV] Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

But, if I wait until that one time of the year to ensure I am firmly rooted and established enough to endure tough times, like job loss, persecution or illness, I might find that it is too late – that I have already stumbled or fallen. 

What is that soil I should be established in? There are several New Testament scriptures that speak of being establish as a Christian. They tell me to be “rooted and established in love” (Eph. 3:17); “established and firm in faith” (Col. 1:23); and to be “firmly established in the truth” (2 Peter 1:12). Faith, love and truth seem like some pretty solid, dependable ground to be planted in for my survival when heat from trials tries to blast me into a wilted state.

We believers are not meant to be annual plants – beautiful for just a season and done before the year is out. We are not to be “hot house flowers,” precariously holding on only when the conditions are perfect. Rather, we are to be perennials, well established and hearty enough to return year after year and survive even through the toughest of times. 

Good news: As soon as I discovered my error, I quickly repotted my vegetable plants deep in some nutritious soil, gave them a good watering and when I checked the next morning, I found them to have perked right up overnight. 

I’ve learned that being firmly rooted in the fertile of God’s word, faith, love and truth is what is needed for me to survive and thrive as a Christian. And that is a as good of a lesson as you can get from a wood-be plant assassin. 

Plant your roots deep, dear sisters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.