So Now, Flourish!
The Flourishing Church
I wrote the following in my journal on October 10, 2011:
“Father, I cannot see the way through this. I do not understand why my body is failing, why the pain is so great. I cannot see victory or purpose here. My spirit wavers, Lord, and I am weary, but I know You are good. Faithful. Help me to seek Your face, not Your hand. Help me to see beyond what is happening to me, to see more of You…”
We Bloom For A Season
When I think of good soil I think of a relationship with Jesus, a good local church, and getting involved in a community. Part of planting yourself in good soil is listening to the Holy Spirit guide you into what those “good” things are for you in your season of life.
We Bear Fruit
“Life is short.” When the world says it, it’s often followed by, “So live life to the fullest.” That “full” can mean a myriad of things—work, relationships, danger or fun—and it can spiral into all manner of depravity as each person tries to find what exactly a “full” life truly means. Each one tries to run as fast as they can to an end they are increasingly terrified of, some never realizing that this life on earth is but a season.
We Put Roots Down
Our hearts are nourished through the Word, faith and times of refreshing in His presence. We cannot be fruitful if we do not seek the Lord and learn from Him. Taking time to allow Him to speak to us and then listening to what He has to say is vital to our ability to bear fruit.
Sowing and Reaping
A healthy plant is established by a good root system. Did you know that the health of a plant is determined by what is taking place underground? The healthier and deeper the root system, the stronger and healthier the plant above the ground is. Not only is there the original root from the beginning of the plant’s life, but as the root matures, it grows more roots laterally and vertically below the soil line.
The Master Gardener
I love a flourishing vegetable garden. The problem is, I’m not a gardener. As much as I’d love to have a garden of fresh vegetables, it isn’t going to happen because I never plant them. I could sit for hours in my backyard, praying for a harvest to appear, but it won’t because I didn’t follow the natural laws set up by God. If I don’t plant tomato seeds, I cannot expect tomatoes to grow.
A Cultivated Heart
When I was a child, my parents had a huge garden. We spent countless hours playing in it and each spring my dad would plow up the soil and fertilize it to get it ready for the seeds to be planted.
Our Master Gardener, Jesus, does the same thing to our hearts. He plows up weeds such as selfishness, unforgiveness and pride so our hearts are prepared to receive the seed of His Word.
The Abandoned Heart
I grew up a “farmer’s daughter.” As a child, our social calendar revolved around the seasons. Not fall, winter, spring and summer, but planting season and harvest season. I can remember riding with my dad in his big tractor pulling his “planter.” He would talk about all the work that goes into preparing for seed planting.
The Protected Heart
In all my years of having a garden I have yet to acquire one that produces fruit all by itself. It takes time. I quickly learned that if I neglect the plants I simply do not get to enjoy any fruit. The same is true in your life—in order to bear the fruits of the Spirit you need to tend to your spiritual life daily.In the book of Mark, Jesus compares us to a seed.
The Understanding Heart
My mom planted a huge garden and beautiful flowers every year. I loved the delicious veggies, beautiful flowers and watching the butterflies they attracted. She spent time nurturing, weeding, pruning and watering, and while I have always loved giving and receiving flowers, gardening was never my thing.
We Are Meant To Flourish
There is an unspoken agreement between the seed and the soil; they each know what to do, because in their creation the message was made clear. To the seed: “Take root and open wide within the nourishing environment you were planted,” and to the soil: “Encircle and sustain that which has been entrusted to you, allowing space for full expression and germination.”
Psalm 92:12 says, “the righteous will flourish like a palm tree.” I don’t know about you, but when I think about flourishing plants a palm tree is not what comes to mind! And yet I have noticed that whenever I see news footage from a hurricane there are trees, vehicles and pieces of homes being thrown around and yet the palm trees are left unaffected. So why do palm trees survive the storms they face when others seem to fall down?