During winter, daffodils, crocuses, tulips, and other flower bulbs await warmer weather which heralds the coming of spring. Sometimes a few warm days will awaken those bulbs prematurely. And as often is the case, those warm days are followed by another snowstorm. I have seen this happen almost annually in the pacific northwest. Nevertheless, the flowers continue on their course towards blooming despite the snow. The flowers did not choose where they were planted and the sometimes rapid weather changes. And thus, they are a great example of bloom where you are planted.
We, like the flowers, don’t always choose the roller coaster of events that come our way. We often find them cold and harsh like snowstorms in the late winter and early spring. However, we can learn from the spring flowers that simply follow the directions of their internal programming. They don’t complain or fall into a heap of despair. They simply “bloom where they are planted.” We can too.
What does it mean “bloom where you are planted?”
There are several thoughts wrapped up in this phrase.
- Roll with the punches
- Don’t give up when things don’t turn out as planned
- Make the most out of what life hands to you
- Find something positive in the negatives
- Be flexible
- Life can be hard, but keep on keeping on
- The sun will shine again
Where in the Bible does it say “bloom where you are planted”?
Don’t be surprised if you can’t find “bloom where you are planted” in your Bible. These are modern words, but the concept and meaning are very Biblical.
“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” 1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; it’s leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters. Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it propsers, you too will prosper.’ ” Jeremiah 29:4-5, 7 NIV
Explanation of Scriptures
Between 597 and 581 BC, when captives were taken from Jerusalem into Babylon, I am sure most of them were devastated. They lost their homes and businesses. It would be almost like modern-day refugees. Nevertheless, captivity was actually a huge blessing because everyone who was left in Jerusalem was destroyed.
In our lives today, there will be circumstances that arise that seem devastating. How they could be a blessing is beyond us. We just have to trust that God is in control. Even when evil is done to us, we see in the life of Joseph, that God works in that also. These were Joseph’s words:
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done now, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 NIV
How to “bloom where you are planted”
Most readers have already had at least one difficult life circumstance. And the older we get, the more of these we experience. One thing we can count on. In every difficult situation, we can grow and be prepared for the future. Furthermore, when we walk through these circumstances with God directing us, we become stronger and full of personal stories that will encourage others.
So how do we “bloom where we are planted?
- When it feels like life is out of control, give it to God
- Ask God to sustain you
- Make Bible reading and prayer a priority
- Make gratitude a priority
- Don’t retreat! Stay connected to others
- Forgive those who have made your life miserable
- Ask God to give you a story of hope
1.When it feels like life is out of control, give it to God
I’ve experienced many circumstances when life seemed out of control. My first impulse was to panic, followed by withdrawal into myself and despair. This is human nature. These reactions are automatic for most people unless we turn to God. Why? Because He is in control.
Scripture documents over and over that in some of the most bleak-looking challenges for the people of God, the oppressive powers were only in control for a season. Most importantly, when the people of God trusted Him and followed His directions, they grew stronger and had victory in their lives.
Victory comes in many forms: physical, emotional, and/or spiritual. It is part of growing where you are planted. And when we grow emotionally and spiritually, it brings about beautiful personality traits like flowers in the snow.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
2. Ask God to sustain you
As much as most of us would like to “pull ourselves up by our OWN bootstraps”, being able to maintain equilibrium is a gift from God. He created us and knows how to sustain us. He is the source of life and spiritual stability.
3. Make Bible reading and prayer a priority
Bible reading and prayer is like eating breakfast and taking your morning vitamins. Now if you are one who does not like breakfast, you still must eat at some point in the day. Food sustains us physically, while Bible reading and prayer sustain us emotionally and spiritually. Never underestimate the importance of these activities. This is one area of life in which we should not be dieting. We can not take in too much Bible reading and prayer.
4. Make gratitude a priority
In order to make gratitude a priority we have to look for the positives in the negative. We will always have something to be thankful for, but we sometimes must look for it. As we add to our gratitude list, it will become easier to bloom where we are planted. Gratitude helps change our perspective and lighten the load that we feel. Gratitude and peace go hand in hand.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
5. Don’t retreat! Stay connected to others
When we have been hurt emotionally, it is a huge temptation to withdraw and avoid people altogether. Yet this is one of the worst things we can do. Isolation leaves us feeling helpless sooner or later. That is why prisoners of war are often separated. Alone they pose no threat. Together they are armed with courage and emotional strength.
We need others. That is why the Bible talks about encouraging, comforting, and helping each other.
6. Fogive those who have made your life misserable
Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Bible. It really has nothing to do with the person who hurt us and everything to do with our healing.
If we harbor anger and bitterness, it has no effect on the other person but keeps us a prisoner to our own emotions. When we can forgive, we are set free.
7. Ask God to give you a story of hope
Believe it or not, there are many individuals who have gone through difficulties, only to find a beautiful story waiting for them to tell down the road. I don’t understand exactly how God brings this about except to say that when we love Him, he makes all things work out for good. That is His promise. It may take time, but eventually, we will realize this truth.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
Final thoughts on “bloom where you are planted”
Life can be cold and harsh like snowstorms. We don’t like to be in these situations but we can survive, and even thrive as we walk through them. This is what it means to bloom where you are planted.
Thriving, though, does not come by chance. We must be deliberate about it, choosing to grow where we are planted. By giving difficult situations to God, asking Him to sustain us, making Bible reading, prayer, and gratitude priorities, and forgiving those who made our lives miserable, we will develop a story of hope. This kind of story will inspire others, give us personal satisfaction, and bring glory to God.
To bloom where we are planted is well worth the effort.
A Gift for you
To help you remember that with God’s help we can bloom where we are planted, in any situation, I would like to give this Scripture card. Simply download it. No email is required.
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