Back-flips, tape, and a plant
When I was pregnant with our first daughter my sister Cassie gave me plant. I kill plants. But I was determined that this plant would live. Nine years later the plant is still alive and doing well. I'm kind of proud of it. But a few months ago my girls were doing back flips on the couch and landed on my plant! I ran to the plant and saw the largest branch broken and hanging on by a small piece of the stem. I wasn't about to let my plant die. I grabbed some tape and taped the branch back onto the plant. Three months later my plant is still alive and growing.
Jesus said. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
There have been a few times where I have been that plant. Just hanging out doing my thing when ... wham ... someone does a back flip right on my head.
The first time that happened was almost ten years ago. My husband was a youth pastor at a church. We loved the youth like they were our own children. Most of the youth came to be followers of Jesus while we were ministering at the church. They were our spiritual children. The youth group was growing, Kids were getting saved, and we found out we were about to have our first child. Then bam a back flip right on my head. The church decided they didn't want us there any more. The church wanted to move in a new direction, and our music and outreach ideas didn't fit that direction. We were done.
To be honest I didn't want to go to church that first Sunday. I didn't want to visit different churches looking for a place to attend. I wanted to be at the church that was my home. If I couldn't be there, I wanted to stay in bed. But I had a husband that very wisely said, if we miss one week... we will miss two. If we miss two... we will miss three. We were hurt. We needed to tape ourselves to the vine. During those months looking for a church I had to hang on to Jesus with every part of me. I read my bible more, I prayed more, I hung onto Jesus with every part of me. Before my daughter was born we did find a church were we could heal, and grow.
The experience changed me. I had met people before who told me they didn't go to church because they had been hurt at church. Before this happened I would have told them to get over it. I didn't really know what the hurt of loosing a church family felt like. Now I understand. But the truth is ... healing is IN Jesus. Life is IN Jesus.
It has been ten years since this experience. It wasn't the only time I would feel this same kind of hurt. I have had more experience that have brought me to my knees. With each blow I have learned that only in Jesus will I find that healing.
Maybe you feel like this plant. Just doing your thing, enjoying life... then bam... some one does a back flip right on your head. This could come in the form of bad health, or family problems, or a deep hurt. What ever the problem is... grab hold of Jesus, read the bible more, pray more, give your cares to Jesus. In fact Jesus says to cast your cares on Him because He care about you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Update: - It has been almost five years since I wrote this post. We now have four girls instead of two, we have pre teens and teenagers instead of little kids, and they still break my stuff.
The daughter who did a back-flip onto my plant is now a level six gymnast... so she is putting her skills to good use.
We still attend church regularly and are involved as much as possible. I meet people all the time who have stopped attending church because of "church hurt". I am glad we made the choice to not stop going to church. It took a few years to end up in our church. That was not an easy journey. It involved a lot of hurt. But we never missed a Sunday.
The plant is now dead. Sadly. We moved two years ago into a house that needed a lot of work, and in the busyness I forgot about watering it.
Another reminder. In our busy lives we have to continue to feed ourselves spiritually. If we don't were going to die. So today, take some time alone with Jesus.
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