Monday, September 6, 2010

New growth, new life

My mom influenced me to like Jade plants. They are my favorite. I delight in going outside on our balcony patio and examining them. I always kneel down, finger their leaves, and revel in their growth. After doing this for a few minutes in the morning, I shake out of my dreamy state and go back to the laundry or dishes or whatever. There's great therapy in a little nature!

When things were so difficult this spring, I thought I might objectify my pain a bit. I took my biggest jade plant and pretended it was me. (Bear with will soon make sense!) I chopped off 4 branches to represent our 4 Mexican friends who were asked to leave. As you can see, I mutilated it a bit.
My sweet plant, clobbered. It was how I felt, like my own right arm was cut off. The pain of their leaving and everything else that was happening.

But, I knew a secret as I cut away. I knew that it would grow back. I knew that it would take time. I knew that it would take care. But, it would grow.

Similarly with my heart. It would take time, care, and soaking in God's promises, but I too would be new. With the kids last week we learned a new one of God's promises--God will not bring any unnecessary suffering into your life. The apostle Paul had hardships, ones in which he despaired of life itself. But, he said, "that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." (2 Cor. 1:9). So God doesn't waste our suffering as He doesn't bring any needless pain in our life. For a little suffering is a small price to pay to gain faith in God.
Months later, you can see the growth on my jade plant (above). You can still see the incision but in some way it adds to the beauty and character. By God's grace and kindness, may it be true in me too.