Flourish

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

Psalm 1:2-3

God’s very nature is proclaimed through His creation. Bright petals and green succulents burst with the glory of God. Life springing from the dirt is a wonderful reminder of God’s delight in life. Unfortunately, the joy I find in growing plants is always combatted by my incompetence in keeping them alive. Despite my best efforts, plants seem to respond to my care with fading color, drooping leaves, and falling petals.

Every spring, I work my fingers in the soft earth, hopefully burying strawberry plants. I return to the small garden daily to nourish their budding white petals with water and love. Perhaps the Virginia mountain air is too chilly, or maybe I am overeager in my care, but I have never reaped a sweet strawberry harvest. Potted flowers entrusted to my care meet the same tragic end. Even succulents wither under my watch.

Sadly, our spiritual lives often resemble those fruitless, fading plants. We are prone to respond to the love and care of our Father by choosing our own way, finding our worth in worldly acceptance, or just ignoring His voice. He graciously meets us with his steadfast love and mercy day after day (Lamentations 3:22-23). We, with fallen hearts, often refuse to welcome the life-giving love of the Lord into our life. Our delight in the law of the Lord fades, we droop like dying leaves under the weight of our own effort, and the petals and fruits of God’s work in us wither and fall.

Yet, if we have trusted Jesus to be our Savior, He doesn’t leave us in the dirt. He holds our roots and relentlessly nourishes us while we wander and stray. His heart breaks as He watches another petal of His life inside of us fall away. All the while, He knows we cannot live and thrive by our own strength. He patiently waits on our return to Him. We are utterly dependent on His care. Jesus explains our desperate need through a parable in John 15:

“Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

 John 15:4-5

On our own, we are parched plants incapable of producing vibrant life. We can only find the power to truly live by admitting our weakness and relying on God’s life-giving power. We find this power through abiding. In Christ alone, we find the power to flourish.

Much more faithfully than I tend to my strawberry plants or potted flowers, God constantly showers His care and mercy on us. Despite how withered and faded we may feel, the Lord wants to renew us and bear much fruit in us. Like any good gardener, His care requires pruning and weeding in us. The process from fading to flourishing may be painful as God invades the parts of us that are far from him,

But the harvest will be beautiful.

Sisters, Satan is hungry to drain the life from inside of us like weeds invading a garden. Let us stand strong together, encouraging one another to lean into our Father. We can become a generation of women flourishing in the hope of the Lord. As we abide, may God continue to prune us, nourish us, and sanctify us into women blooming and bursting with His love. Perhaps the world will see the beauty of meditating on the law of the Lord and abiding in the mercy of Christ.

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