A few months ago, I bought some plants. Real plants. Live plants. I’ve always liked them, but I hadn’t bought a live plant in years. I’d always had pretty good luck with them, so why not add some live greenery to my home. They produce oxygen. Right?
My issue with live plants in the past has always been the small act of watering them. I forget about it. I water too little. I water too much. I’m never consistent with providing the liquid nourishment that my poor plants need.
But I’ve been trying to make a point of watering these new plants. Oh sure. Sometimes I forget. But I’m determined to keep these plants alive. My motto for watering plants has been to let them dry out. Then water them again.
There’s a problem with that theory.
Some plants always like to have damp soil. But some plants don’t. The labels on the plants give the proper instructions on how to feed them so they will remain healthy and grow. I imagine if I would read the labels and take the instructions to heart, my plants would have a better chance at survival.
I placed two of the new plants on the ledge overlooking the stairs. I’ve been watering them faithfully. Mostly. And they had new growth on them. New leaves were sprouting. I was doing well. I thought. Then a leaf dropped off. And another. Pretty soon, there was no new growth. And then one day this week, all the leaves fell off. ALL. OF. THE. LEAVES. FELL. OFF.
I thought I was doing so well as a plant lady. I guess not.
All I have left is the empty stalk . I’m going to leave it and water it to see if new growth will appear. I don’t think the stalk is dead. I sure hope not. But it does look very odd, barren and all.
The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
That’s the trouble with life. When things are going your way, you sprout new growth. New leaves of trust and beauty appear. There is the growth of new life, which appears to resemble stability and strength. But deep down in the roots of life, there may be instability. Oh. It doesn’t show its face right away. Appearances can be deceiving. But just the wrong thing said. Or that misunderstanding comes along. Someone calls you out in front of your peers. Or a pandemic hits the world. And your strong wall of defense comes falling down, as if it were built on sand. Now what?
What do you do when every last leaf of strength and beauty fall off all in the same day? What happens to you then? Are your roots grounded in the Word of God? Have you been watering your soul with just the right amount of nourishment? Do you read the instructions of life and apply them over and over to each situation that you face?
Times of uncertainty test us. Fear and doubt come at us at every chance. The enemy of our soul is just waiting for that moment the soul is parched and dry. Thirsty for something that satisfies. And if we don’t continually parch that thirst with the Word of Life, we stand the chance of losing our souls. Drink from the fountain of life and quench your thirst.
And when the bare stalk of life is the only thing standing. When circumstances appear bleak and hope is gone, it is time to water and fertilize. Faith the size of a mustard seed can change the world. Hope is found by continuing to feed the soul with the Bread of Life. Given the proper care, the soul will grow strong and thrive. It takes time and effort.