Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Weed By Any Other Name

There is a flowerbed at our house that has been the subject of so many blog posts. And once again, I learned a lesson from a plant growing in my backyard.

For a reason not known to any person living in our household, the gardener took it upon himself to tear out all the plants in one particular flowerbed. I was so mad. Granted, the flowers had come and gone, the season had passed, and there was some gardening “cosmetic surgery” that needed to take place. But I didn’t believe it was time to completely mow down what took hours for me to plant.

He got everything but this one strange green thing sticking up in the back.

“Oh, sure…he left the weed,” my mom proclaimed in an equal amount of disgust. As she bent over to pull it out, she realized why it hadn’t been pulled, “Boy, that sucker is really in there!”

I gave it a quick tug, but to be honest, it was the only form of life left in the flowerbed, and I felt it deserved to stay (I was also tired and it was getting dark). The “weed” lived to see another day.

Every time I passed that flowerbed, I noticed that it grew a little taller. At one point, it looked like a bulb was growing. “Mom, I think that actually might be growing something!” My mom said “No, that’s a weed…I’m pretty sure that’s a weed.”

Neither one of us pulled it again or cut it down. It continued to grow. Somewhere between August and December…that “weed” turned into a beautiful flowering tree!

It didn’t matter what we called it – this tree growing in our yard was going to be a tree whether we called it a tree or not! Whether we watered it, or not! That’s just its nature. It planted itself. It got the nourishment it needed. It survived tugs on its roots. It stayed planted and it grew. And now it is flourishing. I even see that it has purple flowers waiting to spring out of its pods!

God has showed me so many times in the past 6 years how incredibly important it was to stay planted in the local church. When I was first making the decision to join a church, there were many reasons and rationales that came up to distract me from staying planted: It’s too far. I don’t know anyone. Once I knew someone, they left. I’m not sure the leaders handled that situation right. I don’t know enough. I’m serving too little. I’m serving too much. Most of the time, the only thing pulling at my roots was me!

But I stayed. I believed that this was my home church. I stopped getting distracted from the people and the thoughts that really had nothing to do with MY relationship with JESUS. Once I made the decision not to be distracted, I pledged to go all in. I called myself a member. I remained planted. I grew. And now I am flourishing. The local church has been instrumental in helping me heal the hurts in my heart, grow in my relationship with Jesus, and find my purpose in life.

And I’m so excited to see what continues to grow!

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon[majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].

Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

[Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

[They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.  (Psalm 92:12-15 AMP)