What is more beautiful in spring than a spread of colorful blossoms to dispel the gloom of winter? Nothing I can think of. But to have that, fall is the time of year for planting spring bulbs–whilst freezing my butt off! I went to the local Master Gardeners bulb sale and bought a host of bluebells, hyacinths, daffodils, and grape muscari. Then I made a made a plan of where to plant them based upon how tall they would be. I pulled all my shovels, trowels, rakes, and began working in the dirt dreaming of how gorgeous they would be in the spring.
And once again, it happened. My lovely dreams of pretty flowers were interrupted. You see, the Lord tends to speak to me when I am planting flowers.
Planting bulbs is not nearly as hard as planting spring perennials. I use my bulb planter to measure how deeply to plant the bulb and pull out a plug of soil before dropping in the bulb, making sure that it sits right side up. Then I drop the dirt over the bulb.
However, my one problem with planting is dealing with tree roots. Tree roots run in a maze of highways deep in the ground and steal the room, water, and nutrients from my new plants leaving me with wimpy stems and wilted leaves. To deal with them, I use sharp hand cutters, reach into the hole, and cut out the roots getting in the way.
And that’s when God begins to speak to me.
It turns out that the Lord has the same kind of problem with me. Whenever He intends to plant something new in my mind such as new dreams, new adventures, new opportunities, new relationships He wants me to make, or new places to go, He has a mess on His hands.
My mind is filled with a web of roots made up of activities I must get to, really bad self-talk, a paralyzing fear of failure along with a lack of confidence, a drive to rebel, and a desire to avenge those who have hurt me in the past. Growing something new in me becomes difficult because I hang on to these rotten roots. Plus, they become the barriers to my growth as a Christ-follower.
Just like tree roots I have to cut out in order for my bulbs to grow, I must give the Lord access to my heart so He can cut out the roots of busy-ness, bitterness, fear, rebellion or vengeance from my heart. Then He has the room to plant the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23) .
As I know the types of flowers to plant for Arkansas’s climate, the amount of sun they get, and the kind of soil they thrive in best, God knows the plans that He has for me. His thoughts, ideas, projects, and action plans are for my good, to prosper me, not to harm me, and will give me a hope and a future (II Chronicles 7:14). Letting go of all that stands in His way gives way to my growth.
Do you have opportunities where God speaks to you? I certainly don’t mean audible speech, but in your mind. What are you usually doing when He picks His time to speak? Are you driving? Washing dishes? Mopping or vacuuming the floors? What is he teaching you about Himself? Tell me about it sometime soon.
Written from my heart,