Ok, ok. I confess: I'm having way too much fun this summer. I spent almost two weeks in Miami with my darlin' husband. Can you guess what I did while he worked? Sweet girl, you know me so well. Yes, I went to the beach everyday! Hey, I've got a nice little tan going on, but my flower garden sure got neglected while I was away.
Especially my pretty petunias. Before I left, I pampered these flowers daily. After watering them each morning, I changed the hose from soaker to mist. If there were any wilted petals, I pulled them off carefully. I talked to my petunias. Just kidding! But I did admire them.
They were lovely and healthy when I left...but not so much when I returned.
There was no glorious show of purple and white blossoms, only sickly-looking plants. In order for them to become healthy again, I had to remove whatever was wilted or dead: blossoms, leaves, and stems. And sometimes, I inadvertently broke off a few healthy stems.
Poor petunias! What an awful procedure to have to endure. But if I don't take the necessary steps to help them become well again, bad things will happen. They won't grow or bloom, and they will be susceptible to enemies who will want to devour them.
Funny, how these flowers seem to try and hold on to everything. even if it is no longer any good.
I understand how the petunias may feel. See, several months ago God impressed on my heart that I need to let go. I asked Him: Let go of what, Lord?
He said that He wants me to let go of all that binds me, all that holds me captive, and all the things that I think make me look good.
Whoah! This is heavy. This is impossible. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too.
But our loving God is so good. So gentle. So gracious. He's taking me through this process just like that. Lovingly. Gently. And with grace.
As soon as I'm willing to let go, He removes the thing that is wilted or dead or unhealthy.
Is the procedure painful? Yes. But God is the Master Gardner. He knows exactly when and how and what needs to be removed.
See, my petunias can't be or do what they were created for until the letting go process is complete. They can't bloom. They can't be food for the bees. They can't produce the fragrance that's uniquely theirs.
Neither can we.
God created us to be salt and light and to do good works.
"You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (from Matthew 5: 13-16).
If we're going to fulfill His purpose for our lives, we have to grow. We may have to let go of a few things. Even when letting go is hard and hurts.
So, how is your garden growing?