Thursday, February 9, 2017

English Ivy Meets a Black Thumb

Last fall, I was given a beautiful English Ivy for boss’s day. I know it must’ve been expensive because it’s huge and gorgeous.

I wanted a plant for my office—despite the fact that I’m not a plant person.

And the plant my colleagues chose—I was told—is very, very hard to kill.

Can I repeat? I’m not a plant person.

Around our house, Howell takes care of all things green and colorful and organic and pretty.

But I listened to his instructions and determined that I would take care of this plant at work.

My goal is always to water it on Mondays.

Actually, at first I purposed to water it on Fridays. Fridays got pushed to Mondays (can you see where this is going?), and now I usually look up at some point mid-week and think, “Oh dang! I haven’t watered my plant yet.”

She is quite resilient, though, this plant of mine. And God has used her to speak to my heart on a number of occasions.

In fact, God’s been speaking to me—the non-plant person—through all things green and organic a lot lately. (You might recall my encounters in the flower beds last summer and my faith declaration  because of the cotton harvest last fall.)

We have a solid red oak in our front yard. It’s my absolute favorite tree.

The year we moved in, God gave us a word that we were like that red oak—that our roots were deep, and our branches would be resilient, despite the circumstances, despite the heavy rains, harsh winds, severe freezes. Whatever the conditions, God told me we would be able to stand under the adversary.

Of course, a massive red oak would be resilient. It looks resilient. But when I look at this little Ivy, I think, even you, and each delicate little leaf, are resilient.

She might look weak when I’ve neglected her, and some leaves might yellow or droop a little, but when I give her a drink, she snaps back rather quickly.

My Heavenly Dad is a good Gardener. Can you imagine how big and how green his thumb must be?

He picks from me the dead leaves, to make room for new growth. He never neglects to give me water.

He’s forever my source and strength.

And because of His tender care over my soil, I can face anything.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." 

Friends, do you feel thirsty today? Do you need to let the Master Gardener care for your heart soil?

Do you need Him to breathe life and strength into your roots and limbs and leaves again? 

If my black thumb can care for a super resilient ivy, then only imagine how much more skillfully he can care for the most delicate of us. 

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