Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.Revelation 22:-1-2
Gardening always has the potential to turn into a devotional experience. It’s not surprising considering the scriptures begin in a garden (Eden), come to their pivotal balancing point in a garden (Gethsemane and then the Garden Tomb), and mark their closing, in Revelation 22, with the Tree of Life spanning the river of the Water of Life – full circle.
Yesterday, working in our garden with Rebekah, she asked me to dig out a bed of day-lilies. They look healthy enough, green and strong, alongside the walk leading to our front door. But they have never bloomed. No flowers, ever. So they had to go.
After I completed the task I looked down at the pile of otherwise healthy plants. “What would it take to save them?” I asked. “It seems a shame to let them go.”
“They need light,” she replied. “Not just light but direct sunlight. If we can find a place where the plants get enough sunlight, then they should be fine.”
Not enough just to be alive, these plants were created with another purpose. God purposed them to bloom.
So we looked around, and I dug out and then amended the soil around my mum and dad’s mailbox. We both have heavily wooded lots and it’s the one place where we can count on a few hours of actual sunlight every day.
So in they went. I dug, Rebekah planted, Max supervised.
Time, of course, will tell.
Keeping ourselves in the light:
Then I thought about how critically important it is to be exposed to the light in our lives as God’s beloved children. It is not enough to just live, God purposes us to bloom… to shine… to tell the truth about the Gospel of Love simply by being.
And I couldn’t help but think about how church, and attending worship, is about finding enough light in which to grow. We have to, we must, we absolutely should be planted in the light. And that involves being in a worshiping community where we are exposed to the presence and the nourishment of Jesus.
If the church you attend is all about politics, all about who we should vote for, all about the religion of nationalism rather than following Jesus, and if the focus is on “the culture wars” rather than the love and the light and the life and the hope and the promise – then it may well be time to trade in your pew for one that is going to put you in the presence and the light of God, somewhere where you can actually bloom.
We are not going to grow as disciples unless we are saturated in enough light.
God purposes all of us to bloom. – DEREK
Beautifully written, and understood!