Fresh beginnings! Fresh beginnings can be initiated by a new year, new month, new week or even a new day. Sometimes a fresh beginning comes in the form of a new career, a new home or even a move to a new location somewhere on this little green planet. Regardless of how a fresh beginning comes about there is something about getting a new start that triggers some level of excitement. It is a chance to “wipe the slate clean” so to speak, and try to make up for what we may have missed doing right in the past. But sometimes we find ourselves going well into another month, year or season in our life and cannot figure out why nothing has really changed. We may even ponder why we seem to be “stuck” in the same place again.
Could it be that perhaps your all too familiar surroundings are the very thing that confine or limit you?
Perhaps it is time to consider what it means to really grow. I promise it will not be an easy transition. However I can tell you that it will be worth the growing pains. As I share the following story, I hope it will help you to see that positive change can impact you in ways you never imagined and transform your life in ways you could only dream about.
In June of 2007 the Lord called my father home. He had suffered a severe stroke the year before and the effects of it took its toll on him in a number of ways. Even more than being my father, this loving man was my daddy and losing him left a huge hole in my heart. His passing came a year after my mom went home to be with the Lord. Though I greatly grieved the loss of my mother, I found comfort in knowing my daddy was still with me even in his frail condition which required intense care. So when his time to leave us came, the finality of having both parents gone was very difficult for me as well as my siblings.
About a week after my daddy passed away, a dear sister-in-law sent me a beautiful small peace plant as a token of love and comfort. It had one lovely lily in full bloom. At the time I had a cat that had an annoying habit of digging into the soil of any potted plant within her reach. I did not want to risk any harm to this plant so after some thought I put it in the master bathroom where the lighting was very good. Between the steam from the daily showers and the good light, my small peace plant began to flourish.
One day I suddenly noticed the plant looking a bit “puny” with leaves turning brown and dropping off. I tried a bit of fertilizer, more water, less water—still it just did not have the spunk or color it once had. My husband was ready to toss the plant but I insisted we should not give up on it. Thinking it was becoming root bound I decided the plant needed more room to stretch out. So off to the local garden store I went to buy a new home for my beloved plant. My wonderful husband was kind enough to haul the pitiful but heavy plant down the stairs and out to the porch. He helped me carefully replant it and then carried the yet heavier plant back inside and up the stairs to the bathroom.
Initially I did not notice much improvement but then after about a week the plant began to spring to life. The first two years I had the plant it was blooming only once in twelve months with one lily each time. About three months after being replanted, I was delighted to see that the peace plant was proudly displaying three large healthy lilies. The peace plant proudly tripled in size and continued to bloom abundantly over the next several years.
I want to share a sweet nugget that the Lord revealed to me through this peace plant story. But let me start by first posing some questions to you.
What if I had given up on that plant and tossed it out?
What if the plant could speak and had told me it did not want to be replanted because it was happy barely surviving in its old and too small pot?
What if I had listened to the plant because I did not want to “upset it” or bring it discomfort? You must agree this all sounds pretty silly!
Well aren’t we much like that peace plant at times? We all have seasons where we seem stuck, cramped and just not growing in some areas. Aren’t you glad that God does not give up on us or toss us out when we are not at our best? More important He does not listen to us if we cry about being “replanted” because He knows we still have a lot of life in us if we are willing to grow into some new surroundings. Yes I understand that it may seem like the new pot is too big for you but give it time. Soon you will feel yourself stretching and growing in ways you never thought possible! So come on and give God a chance to do his best work in you. He is after all the MASTER GARDENER and he knows just what you need to thrive and grow!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” ~Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV