Nurture, with Neglect

October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Robin J. Steinweg –

I had no idea I could actually kill with kindness.

See, I have this thing for blue flowers. Not the bluish-tinted purple color that the seed companies name, as if they really are blue. I prefer the honest-to-goodness, true blue flowers, like a summer sky. Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are just that kind of blue. I’ve tried, off and on ,to grow them from seed, but they’ve never gotten large enough to produce blooms.

This year, the local hardware store had some that were vigorous, already climbing up a skinny stake. I carefully brought one home, surrounded by shopping bags, so it wouldn’t tip over. I gave it the best soil. I rejoiced when it resumed its ascent. I babied it, plucked every threatening weed, and fed it regularly.

That was early June. Now it’s September, and you should see it—twelve feet tall; lush, thick leaves that could screen celebrities from paparazzi—but still, nary a bud nor a bloom.

Experienced gardeners shake their heads, already aware of the problem. I finally looked it up online: Why aren’t my morning glories blooming? What did I neglect?

Neglect!

For Morning Glories to produce bodacious, blue blooms, they require poor soil—harsh conditions. Instead, I coddled them with fertilizer the entire summer, denying them what I never imagined they needed.

My heavenly Father, Master Gardener, knows when to feed one of His tender shoots, when to protect it and when to give it a support to climb. He knows that a certain amount of hardship—what could be viewed as neglect, at times—will make His precious vine fulfill its purpose and flower freely.

PRAYER: Lord, the next time I face hardship, help me to remember that Your love for me is unfailing. You know exactly what I need in order to bloom and to bear the fruit of Your Spirit. Help me to be patient and trust You. In the name of Jesus I ask it.

BIBLE VERSE: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors” (James 1:2-3, The Message).

 

About Robin Steinweg

Today’s devotional is by Robin J. Steinweg. Robin’s life might be described using the game Twister: the colored dots are all occupied, limbs intertwine (hopefully not to the point of tangling), and you never know which dot the arrow will point to next, but it sure is fun getting there!

Comments

8 Responses to “Nurture, with Neglect”
  1. Lori Lipsky says:

    What a wonderful illustration for a message packed with truth. He knows just what we need.

    Thank you, Robin.

  2. Sue Finley says:

    As a gardener I could relate well to this lesson. Thanks Robin.

  3. Barb Pierce says:

    Pruning the plant that’s already bearing fruit to bear more fruit. The opposite of an angry father. Very well done Robin, such a good reminder of “Father Love”.

    • Robin Steinweg says:

      I like bearing fruit–not too crazy about the pruning itself, but the end result sure makes it worth it. Thanks, Barb!

  4. Vicky Dresser says:

    Thank you Robin for another illustration that will help me remember how much God loves us and how He allows certain frustrating and stressful situations to happen FOR us, not just TO us, for our growth. I want to be all that He wants me to be. So, when difficulties arise, I’ve got to remember that He will use them for good if I accept them as part of my feeding regiment.
    God is really using you in an amazing way to teach!

  5. Robin Steinweg says:

    Ah ha–“feeding regiment”–good one, Vicky! Thanks.

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