God Speaks in the Mundane

I recently had an encounter with God while tending to my houseplants.

You see, I love my houseplants.
I love taking care of them, watering them, tending to them, thinking of ways I want them to grow… yes, in many ways they are my very children in this time of my life.

I was tending to one of my “old faithful” ones: my trusty philedron, dating back to as long as I can remember from my childhood and beyond, the plant I was entrusted with to take to college and keep alive. My trusty philedron.

I have kept that plant safe and healthy for the past 4 years, even propagating it 4, 5, 6 times, pruning it quarterly. But I took a ministry position in a National Park this summer and did not see it was fit to take my philedron with me. And so my trusty philedron along with 15 other plants made their way back to my mother who kept them safe for the summer.

Though I longed for my plants (and friends) while I was away this summer, I actually fought hard against the transition of coming back. I often pleaded with God: “Do I really have to go back to Georgia?” Are you sure there’s an assignment for me here? I bore so much fruit this summer! I need to go stay in this National Park!!” I knew He had called me back to work in student ministry another year, but in the face of the deep pain I was experiencing, I did not want to admit that maybe my broken heart was part of His plan too.

But, I’m back home in Georgia finally tending to my trusty philedron, when I noticed one of the tendrils only had one leaf on it. I thought to myself: “hmm, I may need to prune this side of the plant.” And that’s when the voice I know so well spoke.

Very clearly in the space of my heart, I heard: “sometimes we prune things that bear fruit so that they will bear more fruit.” That gentle whisper spoke into the silence I had given it and time stood still because of it.

I knew that voice but I was hesitant… in a moment of uncertainty I asked: “Is this you Lord?”
Instantaneously I heard that familiar voice shout: “WHO ELSE WOULD THAT BE!! It’s LITERALLY WORD FOR WORD IN SCRIPTURE.” There, that’s the Jesus I know! Gentle, loud, satirical, and just darn right funny. “Hahahahahahaha. Okay I believe You,” while also muttering under my breath “sheesh, calm down.” But I could not wipe the grin off my face.
God has a deep, personal sense of humor.
As I leafed through John 15, I was grinning, shaking my head, and crying all at the same time: my Lover knows what I need to hear. His voice spoke at just the right time, giving the words of life that my desperate soul so needed to hear.

Yes, I do not always like what God does. But there, right there in His word, He tells me that sometimes He prunes the very things that produce fruit so they will become even more fruitful. Sometimes He takes us from the positions and people we have come to deeply love because He has other assignments for us. I do not think that our love for those people have to stop, I think God just has another assignment. I think if Jesus is going to be the Lord of our lives, it means He gets to tell us when to pick up and leave and when to settle and establish roots. He has the right to prune us.

Author | Samantha Richey

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