I have planted a lot of flowers in my time. You know, thrown them in the ground and hope they come up good and strong and lovely. Without any more effort on my part.
I love flowers, really, I do. It goes way, way back to when I was but a little girl, waiting on customers buying flowers from my Grandma, right there in her driveway. Scooping out the correct number of plants from the wooden flats and wrapping them in newspaper (see, I told you it was way, way back!). Or when I wandered into her greenhouses, inhaling the earthy-sweet scent, deeply, and asking Grandma if I could help, pleeease! And she would patiently set me to work, watering all those thriving plants. Or transplanting those tender seedlings into bigger pots so that they could grow.
My Grandma, she was always in that greenhouse, tending, nurturing, pruning, transplanting. When you went to Grandma's house, that's where you would find her : with her plants.
When I consider my own throw-them-in-the-ground-and-leave-them-alone approach, I am rather ashamed of my paltry efforts, compared to that of my beloved grandmother.
She cared about the results. I just hope for the best. She lovingly tended. I usually ignore. She gave her all. I give next to nothing.
Hmmm. There's a picture here, that I need to capture.
Then I found it. Isaiah 61:3. "They will be called-- a planting of the Lord--"
A planting. "To set in the ground for growth."
The purpose of planting, is growth. Isn't that why I make at least a meager attempt of setting out flowers each year? I want them to grow and flourish so I can enjoy their loveliness.
My problem is that I don't care enough about them, to take the time necessary for them to flourish. My Grandma? She did. And my God? He does to. Though I don't always care for His methods. Like the pruning. Or the uprooting to transfer me to another spot. For growth.
Ugh. Sometimes I really dislike that growth part. That uncomfortable and often stretching (pun intended) part. As it is often painfully necessary.
Yet there is comfort in the knowing that God cares about the process. And about the results. That He is always tender and faithful in His care for me. That He gives His best. And He has a purpose in tilling this soil. "Your root will grow down deep into God's love and keep you strong." Ephesians 3:17 NLT He wants me to know all about His love for me.
Oh, and there is one more reason I am grateful that He is my gardener. "Planted by God to display His glory. " Isaiah 61:4 Message
Not only can others admire the loveliness, God gets all the credit. Because really? It's His splendor on display.
Tend me more, Lord!