My wife and I are weekend garden warriors who like to piddle in the yard whenever we get the chance. Our new home is basically a blank slate on the outside and I’m sure we will have red clay up to our elbows in no time. But it seems no matter how long we have been gardeners, there appears to be a mystery surrounding the act of transplanting.
Depending on the flora species, most plants get a little touchy about having their root system manhandled. Many times, they tend to be perfectly happy in their root bound state and transplanting that plant to a new, different, larger home may result in a temporary sagging of leaves and pretty much a visually sad state. You see, the plant needs time to scope out the new soil, stretch out its roots in the larger expanse, and nibble on the new aromatic fertilizer but temporarily as a result, some of the leaves may get droopy and yellowed and the whole plant may seem depressed. It doesn’t understand that in the long run, this change is necessary for its very survival.
My wife and I have been experiencing some droopiness of our own. For you see, our physical move has been very much like that displaced vegetation. And even though we DO know long term it will be very beneficial for us, the adjustments to the physical surroundings, culture, and lifestyle are sometimes pretty overwhelming. “What do you mean you don’t have a Gold Star Chili or donut shops down here?” But we both know who the master potter is and that He will give us exactly what we need, when we need it so we can continue to grow and bloom for Him. However, the fertilizer, the spiritual nourishment we most desperately need to grow bigger and better than ever before is yet to be determined; we need a church home.
Whether you are a believer in Christ or not, attempting to integrate or graft one’s self into the right living organism called the local church is as important as finding the right sized pot and proper fertilizer for a houseplant and the very act of finding a church home is not a small feat. You cannot force yourself in to just any environment and expect to grow spiritually. Many times due to traditions (we have always done it this way), infighting, or just a simple lack of vision, a church body can become stagnant and unhealthy. Maybe in those circumstances, a little weeding needs to be done. And on the other end of the spectrum, a growing, vibrant church can be just too “busy” to cultivate and nurture the souls of new converts or those looking for a church; they may have a “live long and prosper, now scoot!!” or “danger, stranger!” mentality that leaves the individual wondering what just happened. Yep, sometimes even a healthy church “plant” becomes too large and needs to be separated and replanted from the main plant to remain healthy.
We have confidence that God, our master Gardener, has the perfect spiritual “garden” in mind and that He will plant us among other believers in His time, all different but yet the same, to grow and prosper for His glory and purpose. And even though the act of being transplanted to a new “pot” can be more than a little stressful and yes, painful at times, we can cultivate the best from change and grow to appreciate its’ abundant rewards.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 ESV
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans12:4-5 NASB