Plant Me Where You Want Me, Lord!

Plant Me Where You Want Me, Lord!

Learning to Thrive Where God Plants Us

Read:  Ephesians 3:14-19 and Philippians 4:11-12

Have you ever lived where you felt like you didn’t fit? How about moving a lot after you’ve made friends and settled into the community, only to move–yet again? As I’ve moved so many times, it felt like I’d been planted in the rich soil. My roots dug deeply into the communities where we set up housekeeping. We built friendships in our church and neighborhood, our kids settled into the schools, and we discovered some great places we loved to frequent. But then, we would have to move due to my husband’s job. I tried hard to maintain long-distance friendships and helped the kids do the same while we built new ones. My husband took me out with a map to find the grocery store, bank, and more after he returned home from work. He was delighted with his new job and colleagues, but the kids and I struggled. He thrived while a part of me died inside, being uprooted again.

My roots had been ripped apart with each move too many times. I suffered transplant shock. A part of me was left behind. But then, a new friend gave me a lovely plaque: Bloom Where You are Planted. I cried. How, Lord? It hurts too much.

I wanted for us to find a wonderful family community where we could buy a lovely home and our kids could grow up in that community until they left for college. I imagined them coming home on break to visit. Later, they would bring their families to see Grandma and Grandpa. That dream evaporated with each move.

Dig In

The Apostle Paul found himself on an adventure with God since his encounter with Jesus on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9). He’d been on a mission to persecute the Christians, followers of the Way. But the tables turned, and he found himself with a target on his back from both the Jews and the Romans. Although a Roman citizen, Paul was also born a Jew. After he became a Christian, he moved often teaching, preaching, being arrested, and more. He would have been miserable if he had wanted to settle in one place. Yet, in the last portion of his life, sitting in a jail cell awaiting his death, he tells the Philippian church that he had learned to be content regardless of where he was and what circumstances he found himself in (Philippians 4:11-12 ).

God had taken Paul to many places, met many great people, influenced many, and even suffered at the hands of several people and adverse circumstances. God had a mission for him to spread the Gospel, teaching and preaching Jesus as Savior and Lord while establishing the early Christian church. He couldn’t have done all God had for him, sitting with his feet propped up, sipping sweet tea on his veranda.

In Ephesians 3:14-19, we read that we must be deeply rooted in Christ. We can spread our roots deep and wide in Him with our branches reaching out, thriving in the Son, Jesus Christ. This environment insulates us—like a generously sized pot—from being ripped apart on the inside emotionally and spiritually with each move. In some ways, it’s like being planted in a spacious pot directly into the soil. Some of our roots also go into the community through the drainage holes. But being rooted in Christ allows us to thrive despite our transplant phase. Being on an adventure with God, rather than striving only for our own personal dreams, gives us a grander, further-reaching purpose.

Replanted for a Purpose

In the latter part of my late husband’s ministry, I learned that we were on a mission with God. I couldn’t see it initially, but I had to reach out to people near me first. Yet God also brought people to us, reaching out to welcome and befriend us and help us let some of our roots sink into the soil of the culture around us. God did not put us in a pot within a pot, insulating us from building lasting relationships because we needed them as much as they needed us. We needed to bloom in each of the communities where God transplanted us.

I thought about when my Boaz and I moved to Florida. He dreamed of mostly filling our landscape with tropical plants. I wanted a few but fell in love with the majestic live oak trees draped with Spanish moss and the fragrant magnolia trees native to Central Florida. Many non-native species were available when I explored a local greenhouse. Still, they couldn’t tolerate temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Since our lows sometimes dip down to 20 degrees in our growing zone, I felt it would be too much work to maintain them. And then, I learned from some friends that they planted their bird of paradise and crotons in the original pots within a pot in the ground. They would take them up and keep them in their garage to shelter them during the coldest part of winter. When the freeze threat passed, our friends put them back outdoors. What an incredible idea! No transplant shock.

I’ve learned that being deeply rooted and grounded in Christ while keeping our mission focus is much like a generous pot where we can grow and thrive. Our roots grow down into the soil to some degree because God never intended us to isolate ourselves from connecting to our communities. There isn’t an additional pot to prevent transplant shock. But the uprooting and being transplanted doesn’t hurt as badly, nor does it cause us to wither and die inside. Rather than a pot-in-a-pot system, we find ourselves in a large, generous pot planted directly into the soil of the communities where He takes us.

Take It Home

When considering the places and circumstances God has taken you, stop and ask God, “What is the reason you brought us here? What is my mission in this place with these people?” When He uproots you, it is painful, but those roots regrow, and the transplant shock wears off. You can heal and move on. What do you struggle with being replanted? What is God doing where you are? Can you see the bigger picture and find contentment wherever God takes you? He has you on an adventure with Him where you are for a reason. Paul’s lesson remains: to find contentment and bloom where He plants you. Staying rooted and grounded in Christ means spending time with Him, allowing Him to show you why He has you where you are with the people around you. Life is always an adventure with God—bloom where God has planted you.

I would love to gift you with my own design of the “Adventures with God” journal. Contact me so I can get that to you. May God bless you abundantly!

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