Recently, my wife and I noticed that hydrangeas planted in our garden produced quite different coloured blooms from those planted in the cemetery next to us. They weren’t a different species, but the soil they’re in contains different nutrients.
We’d noticed the same thing at our previous house, where we fostered many cats and kittens over the years. My wife would rinse out the litter trays at the outside tap, on a daily basis, prior to sterilising them, and then pour the water on to an adjacent large hydrangea bush. This then started to produce bright blue flowers on that side, while the other half remained pink!
This got me thinking about where God plants us. We know we’re supposed to blossom there by using the gifts God’s given us. But, what happens when He moves us somewhere quite different? The tendency is to assume that we’re to operate in the same way in our new location, but if the soil (or environment) is different, then that may not work. We must be prepared to adapt. We must allow God to develop within us new gifts and capabilities which suit the environment we’re in, and not expect the environment to change to suit us. In the same way, we may need to put aside the gifts and abilities we’ve used to great effect in the past, because they don’t fit our new location.
Wherever you are today, God placed you there. It may not be a permanent placement for your life, but it’s the place of His choosing for right now. He knows who you are, and, because He knows all about you, He’s decided where you’ll grow best, to beautify His garden. He’ll always seek to place you in situations which will allow you to be the most productive and fruitful. However, being the good gardener He is, He doesn’t just yank us out by the roots. There may be a period where He prunes us, and shakes the roots to loosen them before re-planting, us or setting us aside for a while. Sometimes He may give us a severe pruning, as we did to some plants in our garden; to fit them into pots, in preparation for moving them to a new house we’re hoping to buy. Interestingly, now their roots have recovered, these have grown new shoots and are doing much better now than when they had their own space in the garden, where they sometimes bloomed un-noticed, or were becoming crowded out.
It may not be a new location you find yourself in, but a new season. If so, the same guidelines apply. Most plants don’t bloom in the depth of winter, but they’re preparing for the spring that’s coming. Likewise, the spring and summer seasons aren’t the time to be dormant. Let the Holy Spirit guide you into where, how and when to blossom.
God’s looking for people who’re willing to allow Him to make an impact through them in their little piece of His garden. He isn’t necessarily asking you to travel to the ends of the earth to make a difference, but He does expect you to blossom right where He’s planted you. You’re never in the wrong place to serve God. You just need to be willing to adapt to where you’re planted.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You know how I may be feeling very uncomfortable with this new place or new season that I find myself in. It wouldn’t be what I would have chosen for myself. The gifts and abilities I may have relied in on the past, which served me well, may just not seem to fit here. So, instead of becoming frustrated, I choose to ask You to guide me into how I can best serve You now. Show me what new gifts You want to grow in me. I know that, wherever I am, I’m not here by mistake. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
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