We’re all planted in the garden of life. In the exact spot where God wants us to be. But sometimes we rebel against it. I know I do.
When the effects of past abuse and chronic illness sometimes drain the life out of me, I complain in my heart. I wish I was in a field where shame and insecurity didn’t taunt me. Where I didn’t feel so insignificant and worthless. Where a lack of physical health didn’t limit what I can do.
I see others who are more beautiful, fruitful, and significant than I am. Others who seem to make a much greater difference than I do in this hurting world. Others who bring much more light into the darkness of lives. And I grumble. I get jealous. I covet.
I recently read a devotion that reminds me of how easily I fall into that comparison trap:
An ancient legend tells of a king who walked into his garden one day to find almost everything withered and dying. After speaking to an oak near the gate, the king learned that he was troubled because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine overheard their conversation and added that she, too, was upset, for she could not bear delicious fruit like the pear tree. The pear tree heard his name and began to complain that he did not have the lovely odor of the spruce. And so it went throughout the entire garden.
Near the very edge of the garden grew a little daisy. As the king approached, he noticed her bright little face, full of life. “Well, little flower,” said the monarch, “I’m glad to find that there is at least one happy face in my garden.”
“Oh king,” she said, “I know I’m little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realized that if you planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I’ve determined to be the best little flower I can be!” (Read more – Bloom Where You’re Planted – George Whitten)
God has planted us where He wants us. We may feel choked out by losses, troubles, and negative emotions. But if we don’t accept where our Gardener has placed us and what He has given us, we will wither, not bloom as we were intended to.
When complaints, grumbles, and envy churn up in my heart, I feel so sad. I see Jesus with tears in His eyes. He has given me so much, He has a purpose in planting me where I am, and He is using me to make a difference, however limited my world may be. And the very things that get me down are what bring me nearer to His heart. They mold me more into His likeness. His likeness of love poured out.
When I fall into the comparison trap, I lose sight of the purpose I am here for in the first place – to bring God glory. It’s not about what I “do.” It’s about “being.” Being rooted in the depths of His purpose, not my selfish desires. Opening my heart to drink from His bottomless pool of renewing grace. Allowing the sunshine of His love to nourish me to bloom His love to others.
Sometimes our focus gets skewed in the muck and messiness of life. We start thinking everyone else is better than we are instead of remembering God uniquely created each of us with a special purpose. Each one of us is needed in His garden. None of us is insignificant in His eyes.
The Gardener delights in each of His plantings. He places each plant in such a way that it will compliment the other in the grand scheme of things. Where one serves a purpose to some souls, someone else brings what is needed to other souls. Plants are placed exactly where God can give the best nourishment to each and they can in turn pass on that nourishment to others.
We are in it for God. To His glory. And we can’t do that if we concentrate on another’s purpose in the garden instead of our own. As the little daisy said, “I know I’m little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realized that if you planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I’ve determined to be the best little flower I can be!”
How is it possible to be the best little flower we can be? Accept where God has planted us, open our hearts to His nurturing love and grace, and let His love bloom in our lives for others to take comfort from.
Every seed of kindness we plant,
However small, noticed or unnoticed,
Can bloom hope in the heart of a hurting soul,
A soul aching to be loved and cared about.
Every tiny seed planted will grow
And sprinkle seeds to others,
Making a difference in the lives of many.
“Three things will last forever —
faith, hope, and love —
and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to Your name give glory,
for Your mercy and loving-kindness and for
the sake of Your truth and faithfulness!”
Psalm 115:1 AMP
“Bring all who claim Me as their God,
for I have made them for My glory.
It was I who created them.”
Isaiah 43:7 NLT
“I am the Vine; you are the branches.
The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit,
for [otherwise] apart from Me
[that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 AMP
“Love’s Where It All Begins”
Inspiring Song About Love