Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Parable of the Geraniums

I was out watering my garden this morning and I found a flower on one of my geranium plants.

This is interesting because I originally had two geranium plants, one of them I planted in pretty shallow soil and the other one in deep soil. The first geranium plant bore lots of flowers after about two days. I was overjoyed, but puzzled as to why the other geranium didn't have any. The flowers lasted for another couple of days and then died. This geranium has slowly been dying ever since. Now there are a few green leaves on it but most of them are brown and its stalk is all withered.

The second geranium just sat there for weeks. Its leaves were still green so I knew it was alive but it didn't seem to be thriving. Its leaves were sort of slightly curled up and it was... well... just sitting there.

But today, at least a month later, probably more like two months, it finally has a single flower, and still looks happy and green.

This reminded me in a really concrete way of Jesus' similar parable. And it made me realise the point of that comparison - it's not actually a good thing to do lots of good stuff and look like you're doing really well straight away. If you bury yourself deep in the soil of God's love and His word, then the fruit will come.
But you have to be patient. It won't come straight away, and you might only get one change at a time.

I find this so comforting because it makes me realise how true Jesus saying was "my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I mean seriously - ALL we have to do is revel in God's love? We don't actually have to work changes in those impossible areas ourselves?
I also find it comforting because it shows me that sometimes there might be times in our lives where we feel like we are not bearing much fruit. But that doesn't mean we're "backsliding". A church I used to attend used to tell us that if you aren't moving forward in God, then you're backsliding. You can't just stand still. And I understand what they mean but at the same time that idea can cause lots of anxiety if it's taken wrongly (or presented wrongly).
Sometimes you might feel like you are at a standstill. But if we rest deep in God's love we will never stop bearing fruit.