Let the SUNSHINE in.
These plants, sitting in these windows, on this beautiful day…
They are healthy. They are growing. They are happy here. Or at least I like to imagine that they are.
I’m not their first plant mom. A few I bought from a sweet friend raising money to send her little girl to summer camp (Thank you, Kristin). Several plants I purchased from a local guy selling them out of his garage (it was much less sketchy than it sounds). Some of them I rescued from my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store. And a few I adopted when I remarried and we combined our lives into one home.
They came to me already beautiful.
Already thriving (well, mostly).
My only contribution has been to let them live in my home and water them when they are thirsty (that is if I remember why that timer I set for Wednesday morning keeps going off).
I didn’t birth these plants that have staked their claim in the bright places of my home, but I’m a partner in that process now. A process that seems to be made up of part good intention, part hope, and part sunshine.
And that is basically the recipe for my actual life right now. I know that I am not my own. That I’m the living, beautiful creation of an extraordinary God. He breathed life into me from the very beginning and He will give growth, but I’m a partner in living this life. I have a part to play.
I have all kinds of good intentions and I bet you do, too. A few months ago I suffered an injury at work that I assumed would heal quickly, but here I am almost five months later still working toward healing. I do my stretches, follow a set of exercises, and ice it often. All of those things SHOULD work, but they just aren’t. Every day I wake up intending to feel better, but so far I don’t. I could focus on this part, on the failure, but if I stay here I’m not being a good steward of my life soil.
Life soil. You know, that place in your heart where you allow things to take root? Good things like love for your family, kindness, and servanthood. But also things like disappointment, or shame, or pride. That place where you hide the hard things and let them stay in the dark for too long. Maybe you’ve tucked away the best parts of yourself because you have bought into the lie that if you are really known people wouldn’t love you the same. Or maybe you have become comfortable loving Him in the secret places. Whatever it is you’ve planted there, roots will grow.
We hope the good things we hide in our hearts will overrun the not-so-Jesus-like things. We water that soil in prayer, we try to plant more good, we grasp onto the truth of who God is, and wait…
Wait for Him to push through the dirt and sprout new growth.
While I don’t know what it is exactly that makes some things grow better than others (both in my life and in my house plants!), I do know this. He keeps His promises.
Those things that we tucked away, those things that took root…like a well loved plant…will grow and come into the light. They will stretch for the sunshine and bask in its goodness! He can, and will, make ALL things beautiful. Even the hidden things. Even the not-quite-yet things. Even the already pretty great things that we just don’t love about ourselves like we should.
This monstera was beautiful when I got her. She lived in my little 1955 kitchen window for a few months and had some good growth there. When we moved into our new home I found her a place with diffused light and she seemed pretty content. All winter I checked on her, watered her when the soil was dry, and brushed the dust off of her leaves. One day I decided to move her to the music room window with more light. Two days later she popped out two new leaves. She was doing okay before, but now she’s really living! (I mean...Check out the growth progress for yourself in the these pics!)
But it’s God who provides the sunshine.
Maybe you are doing pretty good where you are. But maybe you need to move toward the sunshine a bit and see what comes of it. Drop seeds of TRUTH into your life soil today. Water it with copious amounts of HOPE. And then stand in awe of a faithful God who will grow you.
“What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive this wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-9