It's a Bible verse I've tried to ingrain in my children, and one that I find myself reciting often... Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Anyone out there with a green thumb? Is there anyone who couldn't keep a house plant alive if her life depended on it? Well, I'm somewhere in between. I've killed my fair share of plants over the years, but surprisingly, some plants that I just knew wouldn't make it have outlived many heartier varieties. Take this plant, for instance. When I bought it in 2009, we were living in a hotel near St. Louis, Missouri. We were there for my husband's job for 6 months. Anyway, I wanted something to make the hotel room seem a little more homey. So, I bought a potted plant at Aldi that actually included 3 different plants in the same pot, the one pictured above, a pothos and some other really cool plant. I was able to keep all the plants in the pot alive throughout our stay.
A couple of months after we moved back to Texas, I decided to repot the plants into individual containers. For quite awhile, two of the three were thriving. The one above... not so much. It was just one stem with a few leaves when I potted it. It was usually pretty droopy, then it would perk up. Then the soil would sprout mushrooms, and a couple of new leaves would sprout. It was constantly in an awkward state of being... growing and then drooping and dropping leaves.
After a couple of years, the really cool plant (I don't recall what it was, but it looked like colorful vertical twisted and ruffled ribbons) just couldn't seem to stay healthy. It was losing leaves like crazy. I finally had to say goodbye to it, even though it was my favorite. All the while, the pothos continued to grow in its leggy fashion and the other freckle-leafed-awkward-but-determined little plant grew to the point of having to be repotted again. Now, 6 years from the time I bought it, this plant is a beautiful picture of not giving up... even through the awkward, pruning times. (Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but I'm still encouraged by it's growth over the years, and the fact that in spite of some lapses in care on my part, it has persevered and stood the test of time.)
So, what does my pretty plant have to do with our Bible verse for the week? Well, maybe nothing, or maybe something. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give up on your goals when things get hard or monotonous? Likewise, failure and trials can suck the very life out of us. Going through rough times often takes its toll on us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can often feel and look like my little freckled plant during the growing stages...awkward, droopy and discouraged. When I am faced with circumstances that try to drain my strength and zap my confidence, this verse almost always is the first one that comes to mind. God's Word never fails to encourage my heart and to keep me growing into the person He created me to be. I am not alone in my trials, for I have a friend in Jesus. I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me... and so can you!
May we continue go grow in the grace and knowledge of the One who gives us strength!