Monday, August 22, 2011

Transplanted and Thriving

Belinda Kersey 8/14/11

God’s Word
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”

The Song
Bring the Rain by MercyMe

My Thoughts
When you have a chronic illness or other difficulty that drastically alters your life, you will get questions from others.  Especially if you are a Christian who remains firm in their faith.  “I can count a million times people asking me how I can praise You with all that I've gone through. The question just amazes me, can circumstances possibly change who I forever am in You?”  Those words from the song could have been written straight from my journey over the last decade.  God allowed me to be taken from my healthy, normal and safe life into one of great uncertainty and difficulty.

Let me tell you a little story though that illustrates how I feel about that transplanting of my life. Our neighbors decided to put in a new pool and since we share a fence, they let us know that their contractor needed a wider opening in the fence than what their side allowed.  We agreed to let them take down our side as long as they a) did the work b) paid for the new one c) let the boys have free swim passes!

What I forgot about was that we had 2 very old growth antique climbing roses at the fence.  I forgot because they are in a part of the yard that is no longer accessible to me.  I figured since I never get to enjoy them then it wasn't a big deal to dig them up.  However, when they took down the fence, I got to see the myriad pale red blooms growing wild.  They were enjoying their comfortable home so much that they had spread out all over their little corner of the yard.  One bush was making friends with the golden plum tree and wrapping its abundant flowers around the tree’s branches.  The other was taking a peek into the neighbor's backyard over, under and through the fence.  

Now that I could see their beauty, I hated to have them dug up and tossed aside.  Our neighbor told me that he would dig them up for me and plant them anywhere else I would like.  Well, this was just before Mother's Day and I got the wonderful idea to let this opportunity serve a dual purpose.  I had been eyeing an arbor for some time that would look great over our sidewalk.  Jeff and the boys "reluctantly" agreed that I could take care of my own gift!

Mark and Jeff transplanted the bushes and Jeff twined the branches over, under and through each side of the arbor.  It looked so lovely...for about an hour!  Soon, the flowers began to droop, the leaves began to turn brown and those formerly beautiful rose bushes began to really show their age.  We decided to be optimistic and give them a little more water and time.  After several more days of watering, pruning and praying over those bushes, it appeared all hope was lost.  I did cut off a few branches to try to salvage them as "cuttings".  Mom told me what to do with them to try to get them to take root as new bushes. Life became hectic and we left the bushes alone for awhile.

Imagine my surprise weeks later as I was inspecting my plants after many, many days of rain and saw beautiful, shiny burgundy and dark green leaves pushing out of those seemingly dead branches! Even the little twigs I had cut off to salvage were sprouting new growth right next to the parent plants just as mom said they would do.

Friend, life may have reached into your cool, comfy little garden and yanked you out of your surroundings.  God may have allowed you to be planted in a spot that you didn't ask for or look for and you sure don't like.  Your soul and flesh may be withering and fading away.  You may have decided there's just no point in being where you are.

Hold on now, you haven't been uprooted and left to rot, you've just been transplanted.  Ask for God to bring the rain, to “Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory”.   Check to see where your SON is and turn your face towards His light.  Transplanting can be painful but if you continue to turn to your Lord and Savior you'll find you CAN "bloom where you're planted".  I know it's hard to change direction, learn a new way to live or leave your comfort zone but God may be taking this time to prune away what is no longer living.  He may be using this time to show an area where you can really grow.  “I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain”.  Give your flowers some time...they're going to be gorgeous!
Your Response
Tell your Father that you know He has brought you to this new place in your life for a purpose.  Ask Him to show you how to grow and thrive in this season of your life.

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