Bloom Where You Are Planted
I recently attended an 8th grade graduation where there was a valedictorian speaker. In her speech, the student said one of her teacher’s favorite phrases, “Bloom where you are planted,” made a great impression on her life. This expression basically means a person should be the best they can be regardless of their present life situation and should not let it stop them from flourishing. As the student spoke, I thought how profound it was to hear an 8th grader give this speech. We are all going to face obstacles in life, and not everything is going to go as planned, but can we still bloom and shine? The answer is yes, and with God, we should be able to bloom through anything that comes our way!
As I thought about the concept of a person blooming where they are planted, I couldn’t help but think of it from a spiritual perspective. On a recent trip out west, I came upon beautiful flowers randomly blooming in a vast, seemingly lifeless desert. I thought about how, at any given time, we too may find ourselves planted in “desert-like” life situations. It is at these times that we may feel overwhelmed and find ourselves shriveling up under the harsh conditions we face, but let’s look at some in the Bible who chose instead to blossom despite their difficult life circumstances.
Noah: Success Comes from Obedience
Genesis 6:13 - 14 “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood…”
How would it feel to be the leader of the only eight people left in the entire world who truly feared God? Noah didn’t shrivel away in despair; instead, he bloomed and his family’s lives were saved from destruction.
The Little Maid: Always Look to God
2 Kings 5:2 “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.”
This little maid was taken captive by the Syrians and could have easily been filled with contempt towards her captors, but she was brave and led her masters to God for their needs. Her bravery and courage made her an example for us to follow that we too can bloom beautifully. We may never know her name, but she is still a hero!
Joseph: Attitude Is Everything
Genesis 37:17 - 18 “…Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.”
Any one of the many circumstances that Joseph went through could have been enough to cause great despair. Faced with his brothers’ envy and hatred, being sold into slavery, false accusations from Potiphar’s wife, and finally being cast into prison, Joseph trusted God through it all and blossomed in each one of these situations. In fact, he bloomed in such a way that he rose to power in Egypt, and the 12 tribes had a safe place to flourish and become the mighty nation of Israel. If it wasn’t for the way that Joseph blossomed in the face of adversity, God would not have been able to use him in such a mighty way.
Esther: Know Your Purpose
Esther 4:14 - 16 “…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
Not everyone wants to be a queen! No doubt Esther would have preferred to live a simple quiet life, but when she was thrust into the role of queen, she didn’t leave her God behind. She was willing to risk her life to save the Jews when Haman would have had them all murdered. She bloomed and as a result, not only did she save the Jews, but many non-Jews were converted because they saw the power of God through Esther.
Daniel: Prayer Changes Things
Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank:”
Daniel was taken to the palace in Babylon as a captive. He stayed committed to what he knew was right even though he was under pressure to conform to what was going on around him. Although he experienced many situations that were not ideal growing conditions, Daniel purposed in his heart not to be defiled and stayed so close to God that he was able to interpret the King’s dream without even knowing what the dream was! He later went on to pray regardless of the potentially deadly consequences he would face in the den of lions. Daniel bloomed in the face of opposition and is yet another example from the Word of God for us to follow.
In addition to the many examples in the Bible, we can also read in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs about some of the millions of people who bloomed during the dark ages, when being a Christian was a death sentence. To this day, there are still places around the world where Christians are being persecuted for following Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:1 - 4 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
Following this counsel and Jesus’ example of overcoming adversity is how we can bloom no matter where we are planted.
One of the main reasons that people find it hard to blossom where they are currently “planted” in life is because they are discontented (or unsatisfied) with the location, the soil, the sunlight, and other conditions. These could include health issues, a desire to relocate, an unsatisfying job situation, financial difficulties, loneliness, a miserable marriage, problems with the children, and so on.
Philippians 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
When we are content and satisfied with where God has put us and with what He has given us, then we will be able to flourish and bloom.
1 Peter 4:12 - 13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
The last scripture in this chapter says:
1 Peter 4:19 “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
Our God is faithful!
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
God won’t plant you where you aren’t able to grow and flourish! Trust God as a faithful Creator, and know that despite where you are planted, God expects you to be a beautiful bloom!
Dear friend, have you found yourself feeling sad and empty inside? God’s perfect plan for you includes true happiness and contentment. If you’d like to learn more about how to fight depression with God’s help, please contact us; we understand how you feel and would be glad to talk with you.