Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Parable of The Master Gardener

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this morning until I watched my wife transplant a bush in our yard last night. It was quite a chore for her but she was determined to move it. There were lots of roots to be cut and lots of dirt to be dug. But by moving that plant my wife also provided a deeper, more meaningful lesson to be learned about life.

The bush wasn't really producing where is was so my wife bought a new plant for that location and moved the original plant to a new spot in our yard. Painful for the plant being moved I'm sure but my wife moved it to a location where she hoped it would thrive.

God provides so many lessons to be learned in our lives. Many of them can be learned simple by observing nature or the relationships we have.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Bloom where you're planted"? It means to "take advantage of the opportunities we have in life and be grateful in our present situation."

The bush in our yard simply did not bloom where is was planted so it was replaced and moved to a different location where it was given another opportunity to bloom. I am convinced that God does the same thing for you and me.

"20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. 21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you - although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them." - 1 Corinthians 7:20-24

When I reflect on where God has planted me in my life "when I was called" it is easy to see the Master Gardener's overarching plan in my life.

There have been several times in my life at work when relationships have bloomed because of God's foreknowledge and plan. God planted me at work and He gave me two gifts to help others grow - fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They are compassion (mercy) and encouragement (exhortation).

This past week I used those gifts and prayed with and comforted a friend at work who was suffering trough the loss of a close friend. The month before I prayed with a life-long friend and co-worker who was undergoing some life-altering surgery. I have prayed with another who was going through a messy divorce and another who struggled with the death of a mentor.

I tell you these things not to brag  but to show you how good God is when He can use even a wimpy, spindly plant like me for His ultimate glory. And God, in the amazing way He does things, has turned each of those "acquaintances" in to dear, precious friends.

Where has God "planted" you? Is there a situation at work or in your life where you could use the gifts God has given you? I encourage you to keep your eyes open. God provides opportunities nearly every day for us to honor Him by our showing His love to the people in our lives.

I have a friend who is a master gardener. She likes to take strolls through her garden and take pictures of her plants for all to see. I that any different from what God does with us?

God is the Master Gardener. We are His plants. The way we bloom is a reflection of The Gardener's skills. May we bloom brightly and beautifully where we have been planted. And may God, the great Master Gardener, continue to water us and nurture us to produce a bountiful crop of fruit in this amazing garden He has made.

I had all
But given up
Desperate for
A sign from love
Something good
Something kind
Bringing peace to every corner of my mind
Then I saw the garden
Hope had come to me
To sweep away the ashes
And wake me from my sleep

The Garden - Kari Jobe

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