Monday, June 20, 2016

Sometimes You Just Have to Transplant

Some years ago I planted a dwarf hibiscus (Actually Hibiscus X Ruby Dot, I believe), also called Rosemallow, along my front sidewalk. Dwarf should mean small, right? I thought it might grow to be a foot or two. Well. It became a good three feet tall and probably had a diameter of about the same. It sprawled over the walkway, blocking a good portion of it.

But it was beautiful, as  you can see from the above photo. It would cover itself with these blooms and they were magnificent, each one so delicate and only lasting a day or two. It was a great living metaphor for the loveliness and brevity of life.

But it blocked the walk. It took over too much space and dwarfed all the other little flowers I planted along the bed. In short, it didn't fit. It had been planted (by me) in the wrong location.

So I asked my friend Sally (horticulture major) if it was possible to transplant such a big plant.  She said, "Sure. Just dig it up and move it."

I thought I might kill it, but it seemed worth a try. I moved it to the back yard in a sunny location. At first, it looked hopeless. Just a few dead looking sticks protruding from the ground. (Mind you, that's how it always looks in the early Spring. But this seemed to be the case for quite a while.)

Then, lo and behold, there were little leaves starting to emerge. It had survived!!

A few weeks later it looked like this...

I think it may like this location even better. There is a lot of sun and lots of room to spread out, without getting in anyone's way.

And finally, in all its glory.... BLOOMIMG!!!!!!

Sometimes you just have to transplant. Perhaps a metaphor for life here?

How and why might the Lord transplant us?

Sometimes he transplants us because the situation (job, friendships, etc.) we're in is not healthy. Like a plant, there may not be enough sun (too much negativity). The soil might not be right. (The situation does not bring out the best in us, does not use our gifts, or leads us to sin.) Sometimes, we might not know the reason, but follow the Lord's call anyway.

God always wants what's best for us, but our ability to see (really see!) what he has in mind is terribly limited. It's like looking through a tiny hole in a solid fence when there's an entire world on the other side. We look though a glass darkly! (1Corinthians 13:12)

When we are pulled up by the roots, it's painful and scary. Placement in a new location or situation is disorienting. Like the plant, sometimes roots are bruised or broken. We need a lot of water (grace) right away or we can wither. We need to be tended to (taking care of ourselves), and treated gently.

The Lord is always faithful and always good. We must trust him that our roots will grow. We will be fed and watered and....we will bloom again. God is good. All the time.

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