dead-hanging-baskets

Do you ever come into church, and the wonderful worship leader, at some point in their opening welcome phrases, says something along the lines of “Well, folks, I don’t know what kind of week you’ve had…”

Sometimes in church I just want to groan.

Because there are times when it is actually a really tough deal to walk into church. Sometimes you know the theory, that God is with you at all times, that He loves you and will help you – but it has still been a very difficult week. You turned up, and feel that this is worthy of some kind of medal. It maybe that on the inside, you really do not want someone else trying to tell you that you have to praise God always, even though you know deep down that this is true. That is after all, why we read of offering a continual “sacrifice of praise” to God (Hebrews 13;5) , and there are some times when the word “sacrifice” describes it well.

Yesterday I had decided that I really needed to change the hanging basket outside my front door. The surfinias this year had done particularly well, but it was time for some winter colour. I had managed to get a good bargain on some colourful pansies and violas, so was all ready to re-plant. The plan was simply to remove the dead flowers, and put in the new pansies. However, when I attempted to remove the ugly brown stalks of the dying surfinias, I discovered that the root systems had become bound in very tightly to the compost in the hanging basket. Each white root in and of itself was very thin and almost fragile. But in combination they formed a clogged-up glue around the soil. The only thing was to throw the lot away, and start afresh. To do this meant upending the basket.

Sounds obvious, but it’s been a week like that. Every plan I made, all good and wholesome in themselves, became clogged. A combination of one-off circumstances hit me. Maybe I could have dealt with them one at a time, but they came together in a perfect storm, and almost overwhelmed me.  As I stood at my garden recycling bin looking at this tangled mess of dead surfinias and worn-out soil, it hit me so  clearly; that was how my week has felt – little brown dried-up plants in worn-out compost, clogged and unable to take on nutrients.

In that same worship service this morning, we sang a beautiful song, and God’s Spirit allowed me to re-surface enough to become aware of the incredible lyrics. It is a song called “Say the Word” by Beth Croft (listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GYimSchx3A)

“Empty Handed I come

Reaching out for just one touch

With nothing left to lose

You restore what’s broken

But my heart is wide open

With nothing left to lose

 

Rescuer, I’m on my knees again

Deliverer, Humbly I ask for you to

 

Say the word I will be free

Say the word I’ll be made whole

At your word Mountains are moved

Seas that are raging

Will calm when you say the word

 

If I ever lose my way

Love won’t let me stay the same

Forever you will be

Far above the earth and sky

Reaching down into my life Forever you will be my

 

Rescuer, I’m on my knees again

Deliverer, Humbly I ask for you to

 

Say the word I will be free

Say the word I’ll be made whole

At your word Mountains are moved

Seas that are raging

Will calm when you say the word

 

I realised that I had to let go of the week, and the impact it had had on my spirit. The raging seas had to be calmed, and that would only come when I allowed two things to happen.

  1. Firstly, the dead plants in my life belonged to a previous season and they had to go.
  2. Secondly, the old soil within my spirit had done its job, and also had to be replaced.

But God was ready with new plants and brand new soil, full of nutrients to provide everything required in a new season.

Did it feel like an upheaval? Oh yes

Is it going to be worth it? I think it will …..

 

Lozenge moment…

Take a look at your spirit – is there stuff in there that is way past it’s “Use-By” Date?

In what ways are these clogging up your growth in God?

What spiritual nutrients are you missing?

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