This is the only live plant I have in my house. My grass is barely surviving. I’m basically a black thumb. Plants see me and tremble, not because of my amazing awesome botany skills–but more because I’m like the grim reaper of all nature that is green.
I try. I really do. In fact, I love to cultivate the land, plant flowers, feeling connected to God’s earth. But for some reason, my selfishness ultimately ends up killing plants. Oh but, Tiffany! This one’s alive. Yes. Yes, my beloved friend–this one is alive–only because my husband came home from Afghanistan.
About a month before he came home, this plant–this simple precious plant–was lifeless, screaming for water, soil and sun. Guilt overcame me. I got this plant when my grandmother passed away two years ago Christmas Day–GUILT FACTOR #1 . When Michael was home, he took care of this plant and kept it vibrant and alive, growing flourishing. He was getting ready to come home and it was, well NOT vibrant and alive…NOT growing and flourishing. GUILT FACTOR #2. I was killing a plant ANNNND GUILT FACTOR #3!
So I took the poor sad little plant to my neighbor and with my big blue eyes begged, “Please resurrect my plant!” Taking on my challenge, she replanted it, gave it a little H2O, probably plant whispered it …and Taaa Daaaa! My plant lives.
When she delivered my plant back to me she said, “For goodness sake Tiffany, all this plant needs is a little sunshine and water. It’s not hard. You only have to water this plant once every two weeks or so. ”
Sigh. Epic fail. Little sunshine. Little water. N.O.T. H.A.R.D.
But I failed at that. In a lot of ways . I feel much like that little plant, and I suspect some of you do too, like there is no one to really give you the little sunshine you need, the little water you need. And you feel lifeless, limp, barely surviving. Even amidst the new year that almost makes us fake a new sense of hope, you could feel like this dying little plant.
I know that God wants more for our lives. He desires for us to support each other in friendship and community. He wants us to give each other the nourishment and oxygen that is much needed to survive in this crazy life. Your marriage could be falling apart, and if only someone would fill up the watering can and pour it over you…then maybe just maybe you could sustain a little longer. Perhaps you fear losing your job–or you just downright hate the one you have and are trying to be grateful–and if someone would just encourage you with a little sunshine, maybe, just maybe you could endure another season.
As a rule we are growing cold and distant from each other, blaming busyness–busyness like soccer games, serving in ministry, and taking care of our own selves. All the while there is a neighbor who needs a little ray of hope and a friend at church who could use just a handshake or a prayer covering. And there is a child who wanders through your neighborhood because her dad is too busy to really pay attention to her, and a teenager who hides under a hoodie because no one really has time for him.
We are killing our plants. We are killing a source of life in ourselves and our immediate communities, whether it be in our neighborhood, workplace, or school or even our church [gasp]. It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special, important or more so, loved by God. All it takes is a little sunshine and a little water.
It’s hard to be on either side. If we need to water the plants in our lives, we have to take the time to stop and fill up the watering can. And if we need to be nourished, it’s a painful wait–and sometimes even standing there lifeless isn’t enough. I experienced that a little–and in some ways was that plant when my husband was deployed. I would go sometimes three or four days without speaking to an adult. I would get lost in my own house, pacing, not knowing what to do. I just needed a little sunshine and a little water.
But there is always hope–while God is preparing our nourishment, he sustains us. Much like the trees that seemingly fend for themselves, the reality is that God is taking care of their every need. It may seem lonely, hopeless, but there is always hope in Christ.
He will always care for us as His children, so I beg you, don’t give up. If you are lifeless and dying because of someone like me who hasn’t reached out to you, know that there is a big huge God that loves you so much, and looks at you with great compassion. He will send someone to water you, HE will be the SONlight that you need. Hold fast.
And if you are vibrant and growing, pour your life out into the lives of others, I promise somewhere in your influence is a dying plant.
Are you a dying plant? Do you need to be watered? Or are you filled with life, ready to pour out? Comment and let me know your story…I LOVE to hear your stories! Plus, if you comment, you will always know that you are covered in prayer!