18. Planted, not Buried!

How often have we used these phrases: “Oh, I’m simply buried in paperwork!” Or “I’m getting crushed by the weight of responsibilities.” Or “I’m in such a dark place, I feel suffocated.” Have you ever said these things, or variations of them? I’m sure we all have. There are times in life when we feel like we are being buried, crushed, or suffocated by people or circumstances around us. But let us take hope. When we find ourselves in a dark place, it might be because we have been planted.

Imagine for a moment that you are a seed. You are this tiny little thing safe and secure in a gardener’s hand. Then suddenly he tosses  you into a hole in the ground. To your further shock and horror, he begins hurling dirt over you until you are in complete blackness. Days pass and you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper. You can’t see the sunlight, you can’t see the gardener, you can’t see anything. It’s wet and it’s cold and you are utterly miserable. You think you have been buried alive.

Does this describe how you are feeling at this moment, dear friend? Well, you know as well as I do what happens next. 

You crack, literally, and it is painful. But something sprouts out of you. It is just a tiny little appendage, and it frightens you because you don’t quite understand what is happening.  Then, you continue to grow and change, pushing through the dirt that covers you, until you suddenly break through the soil and find yourself bathed in dazzling light. You see the gardener’s face looking down on you happily and you breathe a sigh of relief. Over the next few days and weeks and months and years he tends to you until you become a mighty tree laden with fruit. What a glorious ending!

We are like that seed and God is like that gardener (see John 15). When we feel as though we have been buried, let us consider that we have been planted instead. This has not been done carelessly, but with immense caution.  (I am an amateur gardener, and I know much preparation is needed to sow seeds.) And the reason God plants us is so that we can become the people that he created us to be, blooming and blossoming and bearing fruit in much abundance. 

We may not always be in the light, but to quote Morgan Harper Nichols, “I do not know why some plants grow in the sun, and some in the shadows, but I do know they still grow.”

So, take hope, dear friend. You have been planted, not buried. And you will bear much fruit. 

God bless you.