"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
There is an old fable about a king who had a failing garden. As he entered through the gate, he couldn't understand why the garden was withering. The king began talking to the plants as he passed. Stopping before an oak tree near the front, the king learned the tree was troubled because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine overheard the conversation and chimed in. Apparently, she was upset because she only produced pine cones, nothing like the delicious fruit of the pear tree down the row. When the pear tree heard his name, he joined the pity party complaining he didn't have a lovely smell like the spruce. And suddenly, every plant in the garden was grumbling.
Near the opposite edge of the garden the king saw a little daisy softly swaying in the wind. As he walked closer, he noticed her bright face, beaming in the sun. "Well my little flower," said the king, "Why is your face so happy today?" "Oh king," she said, "I was very unhappy being at the end of the path because no one ever noticed me. But one day it occurred to me, if you planted me here you must have had a good reason. So, I've decided to be the best daisy I can be!"
The point of this story is easy to see. Sometimes life is hard and things don't always go according to our plan. It can be challenging to take root, grow and mature when the environment is not what we want. While we can't always control the circumstances, we can control our response. It's our choice to survive and thrive, or shrivel up and fade.
Our master Gardener loves his plantings and places each one of us intentionally. Yet, conditions can make us feel overgrown by losses, troubles and frustration. Struggling against God's will obstructs our growth and prevents the potential of his intentions. But, just like the daisy, if we accept where God has planted us, we can flourish.
We are God's workmanship. Philippians 1:6 says, God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished. The construction will continue if we just look up. To bloom or not to bloom. The choice is yours.
We can thrive and bloom
If we are planted in the love of our Savior.