I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit John 15:5a
Saw a random tomato plant on my run this morning. And, “What makes a tomato plant random?”, you may be contemplating to yourself. Well then, my friends, thanks for thinking this one through a little when you could be doing something else way more productive, and I will try not to let you inquiring, throwing me a bone, minds down in my upcoming answer. And here it is in one word folks, “location”.
Let me dive a little deeper (mainly because I struggle NOT to go here) by giving you a little history about me and pretty much my most dreaded, hand shakes when I even write it, word, horticulture. Now, those of you who know me well (or actually have just seen me anywhere casually outdoors), understand my talent to know exactly what any living green would not want, and then do just that. So, truly, even discussing how or why or when of a tomato plant is well beyond me, but “here I am nonethless” (the phrase I also say more than not as I follow Jesus). So now that you understand my qualifications to enter into this conversation, I am sure your self-confidence will only be strengthened as you read on.
Back to the random location of this tomato plant. I would expect a typical tomato plant to be located amidst other tended-to veggies in a backyard (Oh, how I dream of the veggies that could have thrived with most anyone else in my backyard boxed beds my father-in-law built for me). Or perhaps next to 100’s of other look alike tomato plants where a farmer raises a massive harvest for the community to enjoy. But no, this tomato plant was in an environment where it was “not like the others”. Outnumbered big time. Amidst wild flowers, weeds, and in a cement island in the middle of the street (no like minded veggie peeps insight).
But it was not these aspects which made me do a double take on my run. No, it was in fact the reality that this tomato plant was THRIVING. The color of its red beauties and abundant vines of green being presented to all who came near was magnificent. It was bearing fruit and blooming where it was planted. And the random location afterthought only made it more beautifully strong to me as I considered the obstacles it must have had to overcome to thrive in such a challenging environment.
If you will go with me, lets take this rising veggie to a deeper, spiritual place (and once again, I have to go here people! Sorry!) I wonder if you currently feel you are in a random/out of your comfort zone location right now-in a neighborhood, job, church, school, family, city in which you feel like our tomato plant friend, “out of place”. Maybe you are feeling alone without some good friends to confide in, or feeling unequipped to handle the children God has placed in your care, or are in a school where everyone else seems to have turned down Harvard to be here, or can’t seem to do “the right thing” to save your life in your job, or are having difficulty loving your family, or are out of your comfort zone as you step out in a faith centered ministry. Well, if this is you, let me give you a word from our loving Father today, “Hope is on the horizon”. You are where you are for a purpose, His purpose. Your past or present failures do not define who you are, your circumstances do not dictate your attitude and your looking to relationships to expose your spiritual giftings will only lead to discouragement. Bloom where you are planted my friend. Thrive in this unexpected place God has planted you in. And find hope todayas we fix our eyes on Jesus- gaining His perspective through His living Word, thanking Him for some of the “overlooked blessings” we currently have, and stepping in faith filled courage by His Spirit to love Him and love others.
So when you see some excellently thriving veggies in this season, remember, it is not random where God has you working, living, ministering in this season. Root and ground yourself in the love of Jesus, for you, today. And in His purpose for you: to THRIVE where your planted. And do not loose heart as you maneuver this challenging environment in your own, unique sort of way. God made you beautiful to thrive-because Kingdom fruit happens when we are connect to the Vine Jesus. Here is my prayer for you, my sister:
I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love… Eph 3:16-18
© 2012 Standing on Peace