Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bloom Where You're Planted

This is a little lesson that my heavenly Father is currently teaching me. What's that you ask? Haven't I already been through this before? 

Why yes, as a matter of fact I have. But you see, I'm a bit mulish stubborn. Well, maybe more than a bit. It seems that He has to repeat some of life's lessons for me. It's a wonder He doesn't give up on me entirely. Thank goodness I can be sure that He won't! Philippians 1:6 tells me, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Bloom where you're planted.

This is a struggle for me. Has been for a few years now. This is not where I want to be. At this physical address. I have always yearned for the country life. Oh, I know that may sound silly to some, but this is a desire that has been in my heart for as long as I can remember. To live on a farm, in a big, old farmhouse, with lots of children and animals, surrounded by trees and ponds and land, as far as the eye can see. Ok, so now I'm just being greedy.

Lots of land, with no up-close neighbors (not that I don't get along with my neighbors, for I do). It's just that I'm not much of a people person. I kinda keep to myself for the most part. I have a couple of close friends, and that's the way I like it. I could be content with not leaving my little domain for days at a time.

But that's not what He wants for me. Hence, the "bloom where you're planted" issue.

We were not created to be "hermits," to keep within our little domains, content not to see anybody other than family for days or weeks at a time. We were created to get out and share Jesus with those who don't know Him. To share His hope with a lost and dying world.

And that goes against the grain for me. It is hard for those who, like me, prefer to live a solitary life way out in the country, far from the city and the people within its gates (nothing against people in general, it's just me). But my, how He is stretching me, growing me, changing me! I won't lie to you; the stretching, growing and changing... it hurts. But I know that it is necessary if I am going to live out His purpose for my life. What is my purpose? The same as your purpose. Oh I know that He brings to fulfillment our purposes in different ways, but the purpose is still the same. To make His glory known among the nations. As David Platt states it, "to make much of God." 

And how can I make much of God if I don't want to go into the world? If I'm content to sequester myself away from people? I suppose I can't. Hence, my physical address being located just outside the city limits, rather than miles and miles out in the country. Hence, God leading us to enroll our daughter in school (a Christian school, yet school nonetheless), so that I interact with people on an almost daily basis. I don't want to chase rabbits here, but I do feel as if I need to clarify that point. I'm not saying that if you don't live within the city, then you can't reach people for Jesus. I'm just saying that I probably would not. Ok, enough of that, I am digressing!

So, yes, I struggle daily in this flesh-suit I wear. But I can be confident that He is changing me, molding me into His image, making me more Christ-like each passing day. That He is showing me which habits to put off, and which virtues to put on. That He is using ordinary people to make much of Himself, to make His glory known among the nations. And I want to be one of those people, no matter how arduous the journey.



  1. You can live in the country and still go into the midst of people - you just have to work harder at it. But still, the primary mission field of a parent most certainly is the next generation, and the next after them. There's much to be said for choosing what is good, like Mary, at the feet of the Master. But with that said, we are warned strongly against the sins of discontentment to which we are certainly all prone. BB Warfield wrote a wonderful piece entitled Imitating the Incarnation in which he notes,

    "Self-sacrifice brought Christ into the world. And self-sacrifice will lead us, His followers, not away from but into the midst of men. Wherever men suffer, there will we be to comfort. Wherever men strive, there will we be to help. Wherever men fail, there will be we to uplift. Wherever men succeed, there will we be to rejoice. Self-sacrifice means not indifference to our times and our fellows: it means absorption in them. It means forgetfulness of self in others. It means entering into every man’s hopes and fears, longings and despairs: it means manysidedness of spirit, multiform activity, multiplicity of sympathies. It means richness of development. It means not that we should live one life, but a thousand lives,—binding ourselves to a thousand souls by the filaments of so loving a sympathy that their lives become ours. It means that all the experiences of men shall smite our souls and shall beat and batter these stubborn hearts of ours into fitness for their heavenly home. It is, after all, then, the path to the highest possible development, by which alone we can be made truly men. Not that we shall undertake it with this end in view. This were to dry up its springs at their source. We cannot be self-consciously self-forgetful, selfishly unselfish. Only, when we humbly walk this path, seeking truly in it not our own things but those of others, we shall find the promise true, that he who loses his life shall find it. Only, when, like Christ, and in loving obedience to His call and example, we take no account of ourselves, but freely give ourselves to others, we shall find, each in his measure, the saying true of himself also: “Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him.” The path of self-sacrifice is the path to glory.

    I would take your metaphor, "Bloom where you are planted", and maybe switch it up to "Die where you are planted." Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies,it cannot bear fruit.

  2. I, too, long to be in the country, and struggle at times with contentment. The country life seems so beautiful, so simple, so pure...so idealized? I know I'm guilty. Recently, the Lord impressed on me that if we lived in a foreign country as missionaries, we would be totally focused on other people and building relationships with them. The Lord is showing me that I need to have that same focus here, in the 'burbs, in the Midwest. Praying for you!


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