[Let nothing move you]
It was late fall when I pulled up my bedraggled potted plants. The life was gone from them, and their season had passed. A couple of them however, were so firmly rooted that I couldn’t pull them up! Try as I might, they wouldn’t release from their pots, not even with my best effort: one foot firmly planted upon the pot, and tugging at the foliage with both hands. Next, I tried to shake them from their pots, but not a chance. So, I let them be believing that the rain of the proceeding seasons would loosen the soil, or soften their roots. Come springtime I was sure I’d be able to pull them up. I was half right: one came up with ease, but the other was still stubbornly rooted.
“But He [Jesus] answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.” –Matthew 15:13
“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.” –Matthew 24:40
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” –1 Corinthians 15:57-58
*** Keep reading… You’re not done yet!
Before Winter ever turned to Spring I had the joy of Spring on my mind. Though I wasn’t feeling so great I still had that hope, and so I wrote with anticipation that come Spring I’d have that spring in my step once again. The poem I began writing reflected that wonder that I find in the Season, when life starts bursting afresh once again.
Unfortunately, come Spring this year, that spring just wasn’t in my step like it should have been. Health struggles that brought on depression and fatigue changed my course, and that storm within left visible signs of the battle.
As I came back from a walk one day, I passed through our gate and surveyed my plant pots that stood against the fence full of weeds. It was a bit of a sad sight to me. This wasn’t how I anticipated the season. For as long as we’ve lived in this suite I’ve filled my pots with flowers that have flourished beautifully: with vibrant colour that spills over the sides. Some years my plants have even grown much taller than I ever expected them to, bringing with it a sort of excitement and thrill.
This year things went a little differently. Come time to plant I was unable to do so, and instead my pots stood empty–that is, until they were overcome by weeds. As I looked at these weeds before me, thinking of what I might have seen as I walked through that gate, I saw instead a visual representation of what it is to be overwhelmed by the worries of this world. Storms come and go, but in their wake bitter weeds can take root if our hearts and minds aren’t set on things above.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” –Colossians 3:2-8
After I finished taking pictures of my weeds I got down on my knees and pulled them all up! (my husband thought I was a bit of a nut for taking pictures of weeds, but I was a woman with a mission, and my project wasn’t without purpose. (Project + Purpose = Me, happy as a clam).
It felt good to to make short work of those weeds. Most of them came up with ease, but there were young trees that had taken root that weren’t so easy to pull up. (Thanks to the squirrels who come around each year and deposit their nutty finds in my pots! Who’s the nut now, huh!?)
Weeds may require very little help to remain stubbornly hardy. However, even with my hydrangeas unexpected afflictions they still bloomed in less than ideal growing conditions. We too can bloom through our stormy seasons (even overflowing) if we remain stubbornly and firmly rooted in Jesus; if we seek His nourishment; if we understand that our trials aren’t without purpose, and if we’re grateful for every growing season–even those that may leave us feeling bedraggled.
“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop–some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”” –Mark 4:15-20
“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” –Mark 4:18-19
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” –Colossians 2:6-7