My recent discovery that I have a possible green thumb has rocked my world! My plants aren’t dying, rather they are living and multiplying! What! I’ve even begun to propagate a couple of my plants. Palms, creepers, vines, fern, cacti and succulents! I’m not kiddin’!
As I experience my second summer here in the northern hemisphere, I’ve had the chance to observe seasonal changes in most of my plants. When we came out of winter and into spring this year, I noticed that my succulents had become leggy and tall as they stretched for sunlight from my window sills and I went into panic mode. I couldn’t figure out if it was a watering problem or a light problem, even ignoring them for a time because I thought the problem would solve itself once summer arrived, but it didn’t. Finally, it was time to consult my mentor and plant guide – Google, (wink) for answers. Turned out they needed more light, and to rectify their stretching, they would needed to be cut down. In fact, during this whole process, each leaf could be turned into a new plant. Wow!
I can’t tell you how much joy I felt the day I looked in the tray and saw the tiniest leaves and roots growing out of the old leaves. What an amazing cycle of life! Nothing ever dies. Instead, every part lives out its life and purpose and then gives itself in sacrifice to the creation of new life.
That feeling of joy and pride I felt as i looked at those baby plants was beyond anything I ever imagined. It reminded me of a text I’d been reading from the Bible recently where God is compared to a gardener or farmer.
Consider what John says:
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
THE BIBLE, JOHN 15
God The Eternal Gardener
I picture God and me taking an afternoon stroll in His infinite garden. The garden stretches farther than the horizon and contains every possible plant I can imagine, real and dreamed-up. The colours of the foliage and flowers are better than 8k! Every plant is healthy and either blooming, bearing fruit or sprouting new shoots. I have no words to describe what I’m seeing.
As we continue walking, we reach the greenhouse where new plants are being propagated, not unlike my attempt at propagating succulents. We pass a table where the tiniest plants are emerging and God gives a shout of delight at this sight. He seems so happy, maybe a little too happy? I mean, “they are just plants God, no big deal, right?”
He says, “Um, they are a big deal actually! This means new life and growth. Every life is valuable, and I take delight in every single one, equally and without discriminating.”
Suddenly I realise that this is how I felt the moment I saw those tiny succulents begin to grow. I knew that I would from that moment champion them on, willing them everyday to grow bigger and stronger until they reached their full size, and even after that I would always care for them to make sure they didn’t dry up, feel light deprived or catch a disease or bug.
God delights in each of us as He walks us through this life, carefully tending to us from the moment we come alive, rejoicing with us in our every step and making sure we have every chance at survival. His garden is a place of love, hope, life and light. It’s an incredibly beautiful place to be growing in, and as I picture myself in this garden, being tended to by God the eternal gardener, I find that I don’t just exist here, but I have this strange will flowing through every cell that makes me want to live large and to the fullest.