I’m not a gardener. I have tried to be, but I’m awful at it. I once read that indoor plants could help keep the air clean and filtered. So I went to our local greenhouse and I bought ten baby plants to give it a try. I researched what they’d need for care, set reminders on my phone, bought fertilizer. I tried my best, but I tried too hard. Over watering became their end.
I tried too hard. But I also didn’t give them room to grow. They needed sunlight, and a bigger pot. They needed to be uprooted.
Sometimes we can be like these plants. We can hold on to things that aren’t healthy for us. We need to make changes, but we don’t. We are comfortable with the way things are, so we don’t do anything at all. And like these plants, we slowly start to wither. Until all that is left is dead leaves and dried up soil.
I tried to revive my plants. I tried to being them back to life. I had my hands in the dirt. I could feel the soil under my nails, I could feel the roots of the plant wrapping around my fingers as I tugged them apart, freeing them.
Freeing. Sometimes freedom begins from something ugly. Sometimes it comes from something painful. Have you ever been uprooted? It’s a terrible, uncomfortable feeling. Past mistakes haunt you, breaks your heart all over again.
I don’t know much about plants, really. But I know that roots are what give the plants life. Firmly planted, healthy roots make a plant thrive. Roots that are all bent and twisted into each other make a plant die. There was no hope for my dried up plants, but there is hope for dried up hearts. God can bring the dead back to life. He can make things thrive. But sometimes, while He’s doing His work, we hurt a little.
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. Psalm 126:5-6
When we have dried up hearts, the root of it all is sin. If we are unwilling to deal with our sin, our hearts become hard. Have you ever seen dried up soil, desperate for water? It’s so hard it cracks. But there’s hope for our dusted up, cracked hearts.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:22-26
Oh, how beautiful it is to have this hope. How sweet, how resfreshing it is to know that God can wash away our filth and give us renewed hearts. Fresh starts. New beginnings.
Yes, uprooting can be painful. It can be ugly, messy and hard. But God uproots us so we can grow and become beautiful. He wants to revive us so we can be His. Our old hearts were ugly and dying, but He restores us so our new roots can go deep.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you’ll be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19
His Love for us will make us strong and healthy. Without our roots firmly planted in Christ, we would be dead and lifeless like my poor house plants. But there is hope for us.
My best friend, along with her entire family, have green thumbs. I wanted to have plants like hers, so beautiful and healthy. So strong.
She knows what to do with her plants. She knows when it’s time to uproot them. She knows what to do. God knows what to do to. He knows when it’s time to uproot us.
Trust His timing. Let Him uproot you, mess and all. Let Him revive your dry roots. And when you keep them firmly planted in Him, you’ll thrive.