Stuck and Strangled
There’s an old saying that goes “bloom where you are planted.” Perhaps you have a placard on your desk or a magnet on your fridge reminding you of this so-called age-old “wise” saying.
I have a bit of a garden this year in which I attempted to grow giant sunflowers and melons in the same planting bed. After weeks of water and nurture only one sunflower was still on its way to growing to be that gorgeous, God-glorifying giant sunflower. All the rest were victims of the melon vines that in their own attempt to grow and reach heights attached themselves to the sunflowers and ended up overpowering, pulling down and killing them. Which made me think, “Maybe blooming where you are planted is not the best advice after all.”
In this case, the sunflowers were stuck, doomed by my lack of knowledge of climbing melon vines. And not being Disney cartoon flowers, their leaves could not hold a shovel and dig their way out. They had no choice but to stay put.
I’ve been feeling exactly like those poor sunflowers — the real ones, not the Disney version. Feeling stuck and strangled. But I do have arms and legs, so why don’t I move to a different flowering bed? Believe me, I’ve been struggling with this for sometime. And though it’s been very challenging, to say the least, I know that right now — for this season — God has me planted here.
But must I feel stuck and helpless? Shall I lament like David in Psalms 88:8, “I am confined and cannot escape”? Or can I trust that God is a loving Father and a much better farmer than myself!
I did learn to stake my one remaining sunflower and clear any vines who’ve been eyeing her for the climb, cutting off their selfish, destructive tendrils. My little sunflower needed those stakes to guide her and to lean on. I need to be guided by my Heavenly Father who has me planted here and know His farming is perfect. I need to lean on him and not on the tendrils that attach themselves to me. If these attachments are not of Him then they need to be cut off.
I am seeking the Farmer of all farmers to give me wisdom to know who and what and how to do this vital pruning.
If you are stuck and struggling ask Him first, “Am I planted where You want me?” If yes, stay, obey, and get out the shears. If not, ask Him where your perfect planting bed is, not the easiest soil perhaps, but where you can grow, fulfill your purpose and glorify Him. Being uprooted is challenging, but better to be replanted into good soil and go through the acclamation time. Once we are in the place He has designed for us to be at any given season in our life, we will grow because there is purpose in us being in that particular place. Though He doesn’t promise it’ll come without pain or challenge.
It seems I am in good company complaining about where I am and where I have been transplanted to. The Israelites in the Old Testament begged God to free them from their chains only to whine about, well, pretty much everything after He did. And their ultimate response were woes of “We never should have left Egypt, wah, wah, wah…” And then there’s of course Jonah who ran in the OPPOSITE direction God asked him to go. Perhaps if Jonah had “pruned” his fear and hatred towards the Ninevites his journey would have been much easier. Though I take heart that God made sure Jonah fulfilled his purpose nonetheless and Nineveh turned to God and was saved.
So if we want to become the gorgeous, God-glorifying giant Son-flowers He made us to be then perhaps the wiser saying is this:
“Bloom where God has planted you … and let Him prune you when you need it.”