I love plants. So much so, that the local nursery knows me well. I guess it has something to do with all that concrete during our time in Asia.
Despite the fact that I now live in a rather arid climate, I’m still drawn to tropical plants. Bird of paradise, heliconia and star jasmine are among my favorites. In fact, I’ve even found that star jasmine can live in my backyard with regular misting. Their deep green foliage and the delicate white flowers perfume that entire area when in bloom.
Because jasmine aren’t freeze hardy, Mark and I haul them into the shed every winter to live under grow lights during the cold months. We even have a couple of timed humidifiers that come on daily so that they get their necessary moisture even when indoors.
You can imagine my horror when I discovered a weird growth on one of their vines last December. Since, I couldn’t find anything about it online, I broke off a piece of it and took it to a horticultural specialists to help me save my beloved jasmine.
As she looked at the sample, she said simply, “Oh, that’s quite natural. It’s putting on additional woody growth. It only blooms on last years growth. It’s nothing to be worried about.”
Sure enough, the thin tendrils thickened into a larger stem and by the time we moved it outdoors in the spring, it was hardier than ever. It’s health came from within.
I’ve thought of this over and again in reference to my own spiritual life.
Although the care of fellowship, the misting of worship and the rays of the Word are important to my Christian life, it is the Life of the Spirit within me that is the real evidence of my growth. Connection to the vine is my only power. All that I “do” for the Lord in regard to religion is meaningless if there is no life sap of relationship surging within me.
I must truly seek Him. Not just insight about Him, but that organic and active sense of His Presence. Not just going through religious motions, but waiting to allow His Presence to freely move within me. And sometimes that is best done in spiritual winter.
May He give me insight to understand the importance of His living sap. Only the discerning eye can see His remarkable energy and in seeing be transformed.
I spend far too much time with things like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Netflix flowing through my brain. These things do not strengthen me. They only weaken me into a brittle, easily wounded vine.
True Life is a metamorphosing change. True Life exists without time. I want Life to control me. I want to change from an easily damaged tendril into a woody vine, which will bloom with His Life within me.
May it be so, O Lord. May it be so.