Grace In Bloom
How can a perfectly healthy plant go from glossy, green leaves and lots of pretty flowers to faded, curled leaves and dead flowers in the space of one week? Too much sun? Perhaps too much shade? Too much water or not enough? Maybe the soil wasn’t good enough, or the pot wasn’t the right size, or it wasn’t in the right position? My endless questions as to what contributed to its death would not bring the plant back. It had gone to God and that was that, and I should just say my goodbyes and give it the ‘green-lid’ bin burial with the dignity and decency it deserved.
I’m grateful God doesn’t treat us this way when He looks at the faded, curled up leaves of our faith. He always gives us the grace to bloom regardless of what state we find our faith in. But how can we make sure we’re in the right position to continually flower? How do we tap into this grace and bloom where we find ourselves planted?
Someone once said, “I can no longer go on basing my faith on what’s right for others or what feels good. I must find out once and for all what God’s truth is for me in my own life. But how do I go about that?” Reading this quote, I believe this is where I had gone wrong for so many years. Because I had been basing my faith on what was right for others for so long, comparing how much sunlight, how much water and what soil they were planted in, I found the leaves of my own faith start to shrivel up and curl. My cluster of buds could no longer flower because I was so busy looking for God’s truth in their pots, so desperate to flower like they did, that I suddenly realised that if I wanted to bloom I was going to need God’s grace.
Psalm 1:1-3 talks about grace in bloom.
‘God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
when you avoid sin’s highway,
when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse,
For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness.
It is your focus – from dusk to dawn.
You are like a tree,
Planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time:
Your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.’
Could focusing on God’s Word help fertilize our faith so that our leaves never fade or curl?
I believe so. Because once we start discerning what’s right for others in their pots is probably not right for ourselves, our faith can bloom in the light of God’s grace. When we stop analysing, focusing, and comparing everyone else’s fruit to ours, we will ripen in time.
God’s blessings, the Psalmist promises us, follow and await us at every turn if we don’t delight in wicked schemes, avoid sin’s highway and refuse judgment and sarcasm when it rears its ugly head. I love how The Message Bible puts it, ‘you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouthed College.’
I struggled for so long comparing my life to others because I had drunk deeply at Sin Saloon, found myself in too many Dead-End Roads, and graduated with honours at Smart-Mouthed College until the grace of God helped me to blossom and bloom, allowing His grace in His Word to become my life source.
If you’re struggling to create space for the Eternal’s Word to become your happiness, don’t worry. God’s grace is always in bloom, you don’t need to wait until next season to start enjoying His Word. Start today, even better, start right now. Find a verse, a sentence, a word to get you going, let it germinate in your soil and watch your faith blossom. Allow God’s perennial grace to help you bloom where He’s planted you.
‘The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever’ the prophet Isaiah reminds us. (Isa 40:8) Tap into God’s truth for your own life and let His words water your thirsty soul because grace in bloom is always in season.
Have you fallen for the same trap as me by basing your faith on what’s right for others rather than finding out God’s truth, His grace for your own life?
I pray today, that you will experience God’s grace in a fresh, new way. And Lord Jesus, I thank you that You are the Word and You came down from heaven and became a human so that the “Word became flesh” so we could blossom and bloom in the position, in the soil, and in the pot, you planted us in. I pray we will stop comparing ourselves with other ‘plants’ and live in your grace which is found in your Word day by day. Amen.
Chrissy GarwoodSeptember 12, 2022
Hi Wendy, Thanks again for your insightful words. I’m working back through the posts I’ve been saving for more than a year, yet this one is perfect for where I am today. At the time you published it, I was emerging out of a difficult season, and I’ve had time to adjust to my ‘new normal’ but God’s warning me that there is more ahead. I’ve a few things on my to-do-list that are too many months late, and I’m gathering my resources to push through and get them done. Which is why I’m sitting here, reading your blog 🙂
Here’s the bit that had me sitting on the edge of my seat: “God’s grace is always in bloom, you don’t need to wait until next season to start enjoying His Word. Start today, even better, start right now. Find a verse, a sentence, a word to get you going, let it germinate in your soil and watch your faith blossom. Allow God’s perennial grace to help you bloom where He’s planted you.”
I’m praying that your buds are coming along nicely as you enjoy God’s grace where you are. )i(
Wendy ParkerSeptember 12, 2022
How amazing, Chrissy!