Thrive


I adore greenhouses. I love everything about them. As we jauntily embark on the annual perennials hunt, my heart sings. No matter how quaint the enterprise, the familiar heat and humidity infuse your bones as you cross the threshold. Profuse light and color shriek a greeting like long-lost relatives, clenching you to their lush bosom. And the scent! Verdant germinating plantings are redolent with Eden. I even revel in the slightly derelict disintegration crumbling and creeping around the edges; the dirty, fusty, grubby earthiness that attends rampant growth. After the ridiculously extended winter, this little bubble of moist mugginess is just plain bliss. Breathe it in. It’s the signal that the season to thrive has come.


Thriving is more than simple growth. To thrive implies vigorous development; a hell-bent-for-leather determination to bloom, a virile passion that defies boundaries. Most times, it means flourishing despite contrary conditions. Count on it, life is not going to hand you everything you require for maximum cultivation. There are active, enemy agents looking to derail every good thing destined, so you’re going to have to grapple for life, like the miniscule seedling. The Gospel tells it this way.


Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30 NKJV


What makes this parable so very interesting is the Lord’s perspective on real-life situations we do not consider ideal at all. How, you ask, can growing up in competition with tares or thorns be salubrious? It may not seem like it on the surface, but rest assured, the divine husbandman is vigilantly watching every part of your progress.


It’s not the fault of the wheat that the enemy sowed tares in competition. It’s not your fault that Satan throws up every hinderance and temptation he can think of to stone-wall you, and yet, God doesn’t seem that concerned! Read Matthew 13 in its entirety, you will see it’s all about the sower and the seed. The actual soil, which represents the ground of your heart, is a far more influential factor than what might be growing up beside you. Selah. Apparently, the Almighty is going to allow contrary factors to run unabated against you for a season. However, when things come to maturity and the harvest looms, He springs into action. There’s a ruthless sorting out. In fact, Jesus later references this same theme.


But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” Matthew 15:13


In our lives, there are seasons when seed, the field to sow in, or any promising potentialities simply cannot be found. For a Christian, this is the process of dying to self that ensures the things growing in us are actually seeds of the Father’s planting. The Lord is working the underground tuber of root networks for the growth that will soon manifest on the surface.


How many times have you taken a little seed in your hand and placed it in the warm earth, with full confidence that this little kernel had the wherewithal within itself to reproduce exactly after its own kind? You didn’t stand over it, fretting about whether it understood the timing of the season, when to sprout, which pieces to grow first…the order in which everything needed to happen, and in what kind of time frame. Nope. You just threw it in the ground, concerned only with whether it had enough water and sun to bring about germination. You trusted the innate DNA of the seed to have the materials and genetic knowledge to ‘do its stuff’.


Take a lesson from this miracle we take so much for granted. If we can look on these tiny seedlings, year after year, with such faith, how is it we falter in confidence regarding ourselves? Are we not much more precious to God than any other created thing? If the Father placed all that inherent information in the reproductive cycles of nature, how much more glorious a hidden fruitfulness has he placed in us? Hello. We carry majesty. Why all the fussing and fretting? Seek only becoming deeply rooted in the love of Christ, with prayer, worship and the Word, turning up our faces into Father-light. We will then most surely germinate out every good thing He has ever dreamed for us. In the womb of your mother, critical gifts and even timing was sequenced flawlessly into your DNA. Together with Christ, you will uncover it. “To everything there is a season”, so we need only find the cadence of His grace.


Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt 6:28-30, 33 NKJV


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