I love to garden. I love the fresh fruit and vegetables, the smell of the growing plants and I even enjoy pulling the weeds out. There is something healing about working your hands in the dirt and in the end having a bounty of food to enjoy the whole winter through. We still have mounds of peppers in our freezer just waiting for us to enjoy!
Last year we started out with seeds, most of which were not successful, so we wound up spending a fortune in plants. Of course that small fortune saved us money in the long run, but still, it was a bit pricey all at once. So, this year we decided to grow our own in one of those Jiffy professional greenhouse kits. Really, it's just a plastic box with a plastic lid and a ton of dirt pellets inside, but it seriously works good! We couldn't believe when we planted a seed and a week later, this is what we saw...
So how this works is that you plant several seeds in each pod and they just begin to grow. When they are big enough you widdle them down so there is only one plant in each pod. Clearly so they don't kill each other trying to get the nutrients and water they need.
Well, it did not take long before we had to start weeding out the weakest links. Problem was, it was hard to tell the weakest from the strongest, they all looked the same! It was so hard for me to choose and difficult to say who gets to stay and who gets forever removed.
As I began doing the work of separation I started pondering how God does this in my life. Only, instead of the shared soil of greenhouse pods, it's the shared soil of life. So many people and things that stand next to me look and seem healthy, they seem to be growing right along side of me, happily going about life together, and suddenly they are pulled right out. How sad it is as a shared life is suddenly removed and abruptly everything is different. So many people who I walked with in ministry and life, that I believed truly healthy, were not healthy at all. So surprising to me. But, of course, God is never surprised. Never has an A-HA moment.
So, I return to God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." As I look out over the soil of my life, I see how much healthier I am because certain things were removed, how much stronger I am because I was allowed to gain water and nutrients I wouldn't have if others were taking from the same pod, and how grateful I am to be standing so much stronger as a result of God's pruning and development in my life.
And so, my prayer today is: Lord, thank you for being so loving to me to care enough to weed out the bad things. Help me to be willing to let things go, to be obedient to your lead and to only bask in the light of your presence, as you are all I need today.