I love indoor plants but I’m definitely not a green-thumbed fairy when it comes to caring for them. I try, Lord knows I do. But I’ve killed my fair share.
I had a ficus tree that wasn’t doing well. I moved it into the basement so I wouldn’t have to look at another plant failure. It sat down there, woefully neglected, for months. It collected dust and lost it’s remaining leaves.
A few months ago I was cleaning out the basement and had to contemplate the fate of my failing ficus. I decided it needed another chance.
I lugged it up two flights of stairs and stuck it in the shower to wash the dust off and hopefully infuse new life. I put it in a prime location with bright but indirect sunlight. I gave it water enriched with minerals.
It started to bloom and come back to life. It’s still a bit scraggly but seeing new little baby leaves coming to life makes me happy.
That’s just what Jesus does with us. (you knew I was turning this into a spiritual metaphor, right??) He lugs our dusty butts out of the cellars we’ve been languishing in. He nourishes us with gentle care until new life bursts forth. Where other people might see something to be tossed out, he sees potential.
“A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ” Luke 13:6-8
We go through seasons where we might be pretty dry. Maybe God is digging around in our soil and it is uncomfortable. Maybe he’s trimming off some dead branches. Maybe it feels like a full on pruning. But what feels like death is the precursor to fresh life. He’s clearing away what is hindering us and weighing us down. His goal isn’t the cutting away, but in the fresh life that will follow.
“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” 1 Cor. 3:7
“Dear Heavenly Father, help us to trust you. We ask that you would flood our lives and personal challenges with fresh life. Help us to flourish under your gentle and constant light. We pray that we would see you move in new ways. We thank you that you are always moving, always speaking- we just need to listen. Help us to fully lean in to you as you cause us to grow. Amen”