“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)
I love the summer, even these rainy days. The beauty of the foliage and blooms on the plants seem to shout God’s presence everywhere.
In years past, as John and I would start readying the parsonage grounds for the summer months, one of our favorite projects was our water garden. We began as complete novices, with just a little plastic kiddy pool set snuggly in a hole in the ground, next to our deck. It became home to a few aquatic plants, and even a few gold fish. Laugh, if you must, (I do now) but it was fun at the time, and we enjoyed it.
As with many pet projects, our interest , and the pond, grew each year as we delighted in selecting plants for the water and the surrounding areas. We transitioned from the hard plastic kiddy pool to using dark plastic sheeting for a liner. It looked more natural but only lasted until the neighbor’s dog decided to go wading, poking holes in it with his toenails. I said we were novices.
So it was bound to happen. Having gained wisdom from our mistakes, we took the “plunge.” I remember it well, the summer we ENLARGED. It was a big project, involving a heavy black rubber liner specifically designed for ponds. There was much digging, planting, and pruning. You see, our water garden was in almost total shade, limiting us to mostly shade plants. Although they were beautiful, I have to admit, I really longed to see some brightly colored blooms here and there. When John told me that he was going to remove one poplar tree and two branches from the big maple that overhung the pond and our deck, I winced. Somehow I had grown to feel comfortable and protected in the shade of those branches. However, they were shielding the plants from the sun and keeping them from reaching their “blooming” potential.
Isn’t that the way it is with us? Sometimes we can get comfortable with ourselves just the way we are. You know . . . the “status quo?” We’re not particularly looking to be challenged. We’re content just to “foliate,” and not concerned in the least about “blooming.” We are particularly vulnerable to “just foliating” in the summer months, when maybe our bible studies break for a month or two, and church schedules slow down a bit. Green’s good, right? Right. But God has much bigger plans for us than that. “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15) We can’t spread His fragrance without blooming. Foliage is beautiful, but when it reaches its potential and blooms . . . well, that’s glorious! How can we start the process? By constant exposure to the Son. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
So let’s not let the “shade” of complacency stunt our growth. Let’s step out of the shade and into the light of His glorious Word! Every day. BLOOM! Prolifically and fragrantly, bloom!
That’s the view from here . . .