Confessions of a Plant Killer

African VioletI am a plant killer.

It’s true. Home Depot should have a wanted poster up in the garden center with my picture on it – reward money being offered for my capture. My husband keeps encouraging me to buy plastic greenery, but I love real plants. And so the cycle of buy them, kill them, buy them, kill them continues.

Imagine my joy when I walked into my kitchen one day and noticed a tiny splash of purple. My African violet that had not bloomed in years finally had one happy cluster of petals. I smiled and thanked the Lord. But as soon as the thank you for the unexpected flower passed my lips, an unexpected question popped into my mind.

So you are happy to settle for the very least?

The question stung.

I could have had a plant bursting with violet colored blooms. That is, if I had taken the time to truly care for my plant – watering it, fertilizing it, nurturing it, researching how to best care for African violets. But no. I gave my plant the least amount of attention necessary to barely keep it alive, and then I rejoiced when I happened to get one measly bloom.

I had settled for the least.

I knew right away the question the Holy Spirit had leveled at my heart had nothing to do with a plant and everything to do with my walk with the Lord.

Just as I often get too busy to care for the plants in my home, I also allow the busyness of life to keep me from tending to my relationship with the Lord. Days go by without me watering my heart with the Word. Sundays become a time for a quick Jesus meal to go in place of me also taking time to feast on His presence on my own throughout the week. Focused times of prayer are replaced by lists of needs thrown up hastily before I dash about my day.

Then I look at my life when I feel all dried out, barely hanging on, no fruit (or blooms) in sight and wonder what the deal is. I fail to sow into my relationship with Jesus and yet still expect Him to cause me to have a life bursting forth with joy and peace and strength.

 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7

We reap what we sow. Not just in money, but in all of life.

God wants to bless us. He wants us to have lives so overflowing with Jesus that others cannot help but notice. But both plants and relationships need careful, purposeful love and attention. We cannot give Him our least and then expect to have lives overflowing with His best.

How about you? Have you been sowing generously, purposefully, and joyfully into your relationship with the Lord? If you have been settling for the least, take heart – His mercies are new every day! There is always a fresh invitation to true relationship with Him!

I don’t want to settle. I want a life overflowing with Jesus. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind plants that actually stay alive.

4 Responses to Confessions of a Plant Killer
  1. Sharon O
    August 2, 2012 | 9:20 am

    When I saw this it made me laugh. I actually feel I am not gifted in plant caretaking. There is ONE trying to live in our living room (appropriate place for it) and so far after a year it looks good. Some of us have the gift and some of us don’t. I do spend time with friends though, that should count for something. :o)

  2. Carol Hatcher
    August 5, 2012 | 3:45 pm

    Love it! I’ve killed many a plant in my day, too. 🙂

  3. Marsha
    August 6, 2012 | 10:51 am

    Awesome..this is so true. I used to be a plant killer too…lol….not any more!
    And that brings up an interesting subject. I have always been one of those people who “when all else fails,read the directions”..well that is how I did things,and in all honesty, still do sometimes.However, I am trying to turn things around and lay things at Jesus’ feet and NOT take them back.

  4. Barbie
    August 6, 2012 | 12:40 pm

    I can never keep plants alive. Matter of fact, I had silk flowers for my wedding, except for my bouquet and the flowers at the alter! Thank you for the reminder that I must tend the garden of my heart, to see that my relationship with the Lord is first and foremost. I think I may have a few wilted plants in my garden that need some serious watering!