Several weeks ago I made a quick trip to our local home improvement/garden center. I was in a hurry but as I walked by the indoor plant section one small ivy caught my eye. It was really a pathetic sight. The soil was completely dry and though the plant was still green, the leaves were quite limp and wilted. The lack of a price tag simply added to the sad state of the ivy but never the less I picked it up and put it in my shopping cart. The struggling ivy had tugged at the nurturer within me and I just knew I had to try to revive it! At the checkout counter the cashier was quick to give me a discount on the plant. She commented on its poor appearance and said it was likely headed to the trash bin that same day. Well this was just the challenge I needed and immediately knew I had different plans for the ivy!
Once I arrived back home I searched for a larger pot to move it into. As I took the ivy from its original container I could see it was completely root bound. The poor thing was not only bone dry but it had no room in which to grow anymore. I carefully placed it into the new pot taking care to not hurt the tangled roots. Once I had it situated in its new home I gave the plant a good long drink of water.
Next I took a soft damp cloth and gently wiped the dust and old water spots off the leaves while I simultaneously gave the plant a pep talk. Yes as silly as it my sound, I told it I believed it would do great and begin to thrive in its new environment!
Finally I placed the small (and still wilted) ivy on display next to another ivy that was considerably larger and healthier. It looked rather puny next to the larger ivy but my thought was that this fragile plant might gain some encouragement to grow if it was in good company!
If you are new to my “Nuggets” you may be wondering why I am bothering to share this story. Those of you who visit my blog regularly are already guessing that there is a hidden nugget in all this. How right you are! There are indeed several nuggets of truth that I gleaned from my encounter with this seemingly insignificant little ivy. So allow me to share them and plant seeds of hope deep in your heart right now.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
When I saw the sad condition of this little ivy my heart was touched. It was just another almost discarded plant but I could not ignore its condition. I had plans to restore it. So it is with God. To the world we may be “just another person.” But not to our Creator! Each one of us matters to him and each one of us tugs at his heart! When we were at our worst, his heart was moved to reach out to us. He picked us up even though others would have discarded us. It was always his plan to bring healing and restoration. He did not overlook us nor walk past us because we were a mess. He truly has the best plans for us. I saw the plant as it could be…not as it was. That is exactly how God sees us. He looks beyond our present state knowing that in his hands our future looks very promising.
You are not your own; You were bought with a price… 1 Cor 6:19-20
There are times in our lives when we may feel unworthy or without value. It could have been something that someone said or did that has made you feel like less than what you really are. Perhaps your circumstances have convinced you that you should be on the “clearance table” of life! I challenge you to rethink that notion. My friend, do you have any idea just how valuable you are to God? Yes YOU! You are His prized possession. You are unique and truly the apple of his eye. So precious are you to him that he was willing to spare no cost for your redemption. The price he paid for you was the life of his only Son, Jesus. He was mocked, tortured, and finally crucified on a rugged wooden cross and died just for you as he did for me in order to redeem us back to the Father. You are priceless to God. My friend, NEVER doubt your worth. The Father never has!
You Lord are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
God is in the “remaking” business. He loves us as he finds us. However he loves us too much to leave us in such a messy condition. God wants to mold us and shape us in order that we will fulfill the very destiny he had in mind for each of us even as we were formed in the womb. But it takes time. It takes change. It takes “repotting” a person into a place where their roots can stretch out and receive the necessary and vital nourishment needed to grow into one’s full potential. The pot that God places each of us in may seem foreign at first. The pot he chooses for me is likely different from the one he has chosen for you. It may even feel too big. Don’t fret. He knows just how and where to plant us so we can bloom according to His perfect time frame.
And let us not consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
All too often people tend to hide or become reclusive when trials come their way. They fear being judged or marked as a failure so they close themselves off from others. I truly believe this grieves the Father’s heart. Trust God to place someone in your life who will love and encourage you through that difficult season. Ask him to direct you to a safe and healthy church body, a Bible study group or a prayer group that will offer you the support you need. Life can be hard at times. In fact, sometimes it can get very hard. Guess what? You were never created to do life alone! God’s desire is for us to build relationships and help one another when the going gets tough. We are called to love others just as he has loved us. So please…don’t be an island! You don’t ever need to stand alone.
So my friends, those are the little nuggets God gave me because of one small wilted ivy that I could not ignore. Now I pass these nuggets on to you. Has something I said tugged at your heart today? I pray it has. You did not stumble on this message by chance. Each word is wrapped in love straight from the Father’s heart and it is meant for you if you are reading this right now. I hope you read it more than once so that the truth will go deep into your soul.
Now for more good news. The story is not over yet! It is now about two months since I adopted that wilted little ivy on the clearance shelf. I am happy to say the plant has grown. It is greener than ever. In fact it is THRIVING so well it has almost out grown the pot I replanted it in! See for yourself.
Perhaps this before and after photograph will give you an even better idea of the transformation. Isn’t it amazing what a bit of TLC can do for a plant?
Now hear me out my friend. If I can save and restore one wilted ivy how much more do you think the Creator of ALL things can do in YOUR LIFE? I think this bears repeating…
YOU ARE PRICELESS…
YOU HAVE A GREAT FUTURE…
So do not despair. No matter how wilted or dusty you may feel or how many water spots of the past you may be showing, right now I promise you this:
The Master Gardener has his eye on you and he is about to rescue you, redeem you, repot you, and restore you. You may be wilted…but you are still ALIVE!
plant photos taken by Rosie Williams