Earlier this spring I was out walking with my dog Tusk in the early morning when I noticed a tiny seedling that had just sprouted and was growing upward out of a crack in the pavement of the road. The tiny plant had popped up in what has to be the most plant-unfriendly place possible in my mind. I stopped and stared at it for the longest time, amazed at what I thought was a waste of life since the end result would most certainly be death. The chances of that lone sprout surviving in its present environment were slim and none. It would either be crushed by an automobile, eaten by a critter, or fried to a crisp in the heat of the Southern sun.
Yet what I was seeing was an invitation to a conversation with God since He often speaks to me through what I see in nature. And this evocative scene would prove to be an ear full. Here I was, concentrating on the tiny plant, while God wanted to change my focus. His desire, in this moment, was for me to be introspective, to take a deep, long look within me.
It seems I had been struggling over the last few months in my spiritual walk and with the lack of results in my ministry. I knew there was more, but for whatever reason, I could not seem to get over the hump. I could see the top of the mountain I was climbing, but I could not crest the summit. I was discouraged about not accomplishing what I had dreamed of and frustrated at where I was at this juncture in my life. As I gazed deep within, I realized I was having a pity party and I was the only invitee who had RSVP’d to the old serpent’s invitation to this “Feel Sorry for Yourself and Whine” gala event.
That’s when I felt I heard God speak clearly to my spirit. And this is what I heard, “Stop worrying about where you are. Grow where I planted you. Relax and do what I tell you, the results are up to Me, not you!”
In that moment, I realized that little seedling and me are not a lot different. God, not chance or accident, had sown this tiny seed in that crack in the pavement. God had sown this seed for His glory and nothing else. That seed was fulfilling what it had been designed to do, sprout into a plant. It was not concerned about being crushed, or eaten, or even being fried to a crisp. At that moment, this tiny plant was doing all it could do to reach upward and outward toward God, without any thought of where it had been planted or why. It was not straining or struggling; it was relaxed and growing in a tiny crack on Bethel Road. By the way, “Bethel” is Hebrew and means “the house of God.” That little plant was growing in the driveway of God’s house. Think about that for a moment!
God plants us where He chooses, which is not always the place we might have chosen. But then God is sovereign, eternal, and omniscient, which are attributes none of us enjoy. Our only responsibility is to be obedient to what He calls us to do. Therefore, it would do all of us a great deal of good if we would relax and grow. Let’s be honest, apart from God none of us can do anything anyway. That tiny crack in the pavement where God has planted me is different from the one He’s planted you in. But, the results of our plantings are totally up to God and the grace He has poured out on each of us. The responsibility for results does not rest on your shoulders or mine. It rests with God and God alone.
As I finished my walk with Tusk, I made a decision to relax, obey, and grow where I’ve been planted. How about you?