“What on earth can we learn from a bush or a tree? What similarities do people have to plants? Here are some life lessons I’ve learnt from growing plants!”

This year, in an effort to eat cleaner and grow some of our own produce, I have started growing plants. I have learnt loads from this process and much of this applies to our everyday lives too. Some of this feels pretty cheesy to write down, but I hope that you find it useful! Please do share your own opinions with me, and let me know if you can think up any more gardening analogies.

Three areas in which I’ve learnt lessons from growing plants:

Environment

The environment a plant is grown in is so important! Many seeds will not germinate if the temperature, moisture or soil is not right for that specific plant. They need nurturing and the right environment to grow. People are very much like this. We need a good environment to grow well. When our living space is cluttered, our minds psychologically feel more cluttered. This is even more true for small children, whereby the environment in which they live has such an important role in their development. We need to make an effort to shape and influence our living space in the best way we can.

Growing peas has been an interesting endeavour for me, unlike cherry tomatoes and potatoes, peas require a lot of support to grow well. We live in a society which is very individualistic and personal. So often we forget that we all, at various points in our lives need support and care to flourish. This is easy to see for a small child, but even as adults we need to support one another. Ephesians 4:29 says; ‘When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.’ We need to support each other, but also be willing to be supported.

When I planted my first seed, I instantly wanted to see the plants sprout and bear fruit, but I need to have more patience than that to successfully grow a healthy plant that bears fruit! The fruit isn’t instant, and it’s the same with us as people. We need to grow and go deeper in our relationship with God before we see lots of fruit. The roots need to grow first to establish a strong and healthy plant. Likewise, we need to be rooted in our relationship with God, and rooted in a local Christian community to thrive and be fruitful! This doesn’t happen overnight, a healthy and fruitful plant takes time to grow roots and then into a strong plant.

Repotting

A plants growth can be stunted by the size of the container in which it is growing, and sometimes they need repotting to grow. A person sometimes need to be repotted in order to grow and thrive in the giftings God has given you. However, I repotted the first lot of tomato plants I grew too early, and each one died! Repotting to early or eagerly can be detrimental to growth. We need to listen to God and be discerning as to the right timing and places to be potted in!

Pruning

Sometimes in order to be more fruitful in the next season, a plant needs pruning. A rose bush is a prime example of this. In order to sustain the healthiest roses and allow them to thrive, a gardener not only has to prune any bad branches but also some of the good buds to allow the rest of the good buds to thrive. There are so many good things we can be doing with our time, often there are plenty of opportunities to serve in church, and things we can invest into. I dare to suggest that sometimes we need to prune some of these good things, we need to declutter our lives, in order to allow the things that God is asking us to do to flourish and grow.

I was very much challenged when considering Jesus. He was definitely busy. He had whole towns to heal and preach to. He had only three years in which to save the world and model a new Spirit-filled relationship with God. Jesus was a busy man. However, he had very clear priorities.

 


[ictt-tweet-blockquote]Jesus, somewhat ironically, didn’t have a Messiah complex, so why do we? [/ictt-tweet-blockquote]


Jesus left a lot of things undone. Ironically, Jesus didn’t have a Messiah-complex. He knew he didn’t have to, and couldn’t, do everything himself. He passed on the mandate to his disciples. By the time he left Earth, not everyone was saved and there were still demon-possession and illnesses. Jesus left these things undone so that he could spend time with his friends and his inner circle.  He didn’t spend every moment preaching and healing, sometimes he decided to have dinner with his friends.
So often we can view every good opportunity as a God opportunity, but the reality is that that is simply not always true. We can become all consumed with doing, spreading ourselves thinly across good things, yet never truly flourishing in anything. It is interesting that in Luke 10, Jesus highlights to Martha that serving others is good, but it is far more important to spend time with Jesus. When was the last time that you asked Jesus what it is you should be doing, rather than simply filling a busy lifestyle?

APPLICATION

Who can you support better this week? Do you find it easy to accept support and encouragement when you need it?

Is God nudging you towards stepping out into a less comfortable area of ministry to help you grow? Can you be a support for someone who has been sent geographically this week? Perhaps through a text or phone call?

What are you going to stop doing, prune, in order to do what you have been called to do better?


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Image Credits: Photo by Chris Lee on Unsplash, Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

Discussion Rules: I’m not into thought policing at all, but I am big on honour and respect. Opinionated is fine, but if you’re ill-mannered or nasty, expect to see your comments disappear. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (All credit to Tim Ferris’ site who I totally took this idea from).

 

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Libby Arnold

Author Libby Arnold

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