I’ve never been afraid to kill a plant. Let’s just say there have been many botanical casualties under my watch, or lack thereof. The plant-loving workers at the greenhouse probably cried whenever I left with my selections, knowing the move to my house was likely terminal. While strolling through the greenhouse looking for my next victim, I stopped abruptly and cranked my head around to identify the source of an intoxicating scent. Inhaling deeply I honed in on a skinny tree vaguely labeled “citrus tree.” Unsure if a tropical tree could even grow in Arkansas, I loaded it up and took it home.
I am no master gardener, but I’ve come a long way. Now I can usually manage to keep plants alive in containers. I was so protective of my aromatic tree I brought it in every year before it got cold. The tree produced petite, round, green fruit with juicy orange pulp. I never had the nerve to bite in. Each year my oranges got a little bigger but they never turned orange.
An internet search indicated that exposure to cold air results in the intended orange color. I thought I was protecting my tree but actually I prevented it from reaching its full potential. It is November and we are still wearing flip flops in the South, but the nights have been cooler and this year I left the tree outdoors to allow the cold stress it. Voila, my oranges turned orange.
Philippians 1:6, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”MSG
I want a nice, tidy life. I want protection from disaster, disease and heartache. I want God’s blessings – abundant and poured out. I certainly don’t want to be left out in the cold. I searched for a Bible verse where God promises a neat, tidy life. Couldn’t find it. I’m sure He wants to bless us, but His idea of true blessings are eternal not temporal. He wants us to reach our full potential too.
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV
My life is not tidy. Truthfully, it’s a complete mess. Myasthenia gravis has taken its toll on every aspect of my life. Despite outward appearances, this incurable disease continues to limit me significantly. I long for complete remission so I can enjoy an active life. The muscular weakness is frustrating, but maybe, my true color is being revealed.
Psalm 66:10, “For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.” NASB
If it were my choice, I would protect the vulnerable from the cold. Most of us question God’s goodness when seemingly tragic events claim the treasures we hold so dear. We don’t even want to hear about it. Jesus spelled out God’s perfect plan of redemption and predicted His own gruesome death, but one of His disciples didn’t want to hear it either. I get it. I’ve made some great suggestions to God on how to handle situations and He didn’t seem to listen. I suspect He sees the whole picture and knows my view is limited. I trust He has a better plain.
Mark 8:33, “But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind Me, Satan, because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns, but mans!'” HCSB
DO IT HIS WAY
What if the very thing you think is ruining your happiness was designed to bring you blessings? Personally, I don’t want to miss the beauty of the end result. I don’t want to waste enduring the cold without seeing the fruit. Trust Him with your adversities. He might be exposing you to hardship so you can fulfill your purpose and bring Him glory. Whatever unbearable situation you are facing, follow Jesus’ example:
Matthew 26:42,”…thy will be done.” KJVUltimate peace comes from ultimate surrender#thywillbedone Click To Tweet
I trust His higher ways are good and capable of producing much fruit, even if I don’t like being cold. By the way, I tasted the orange and it was sweeter than I imagined.