Any gardener’s dilemma often includes where to put a favorite plant. You may have a favorite specimen but not necessarily the ideal place within your planting space that is suitable for that species. I have always been fond of caladiums which are pink, green and red elephant ear like plants that I grew up with as a child. These plants traditionally thrive in shady environments.
When I began my gardening endeavors, I planted about thirty or so bulbs so excited when they finally emerged from the ground. However, my yard had full sun exposure for most of the day. What happened to my plants? The sun fried them to a crisp! Not only was the money spent on them gone to no avail but my labor had been in vain. I wasn’t wise enough to make sure I put those plants in an area suitable for their sustained growth.
Like the caladiums, we too, are flowers in God’s great garden. But fortunately for us, we are given everything we need to bloom where we are no matter where we find ourselves. If Paul can write a major part of the New Testament from prison, can’t we surely magnify God’s love and His characteristics in our daily lives?
Shade plants will fry in the sun. Sun loving plants will turn yellow in the shade. But God has equipped us with everything we need to bloom right where we are. We don’t have to wait until we are re-potted or moved to a more desirable site before we can exhibit the qualities God would have us to.
If you are in a “hot” situation, act like a cactus. Have your own internal supply of sustenance (God’s Word) to carry you through hot and stressful situations. You can’t expect God to trust you with greater responsibilities if you are failing to do an excellent job with what you have already been given. Look for the best in your situation and magnify God’s goodness in that situation. Don’t complain, change! Changing your mind and attitude where you are surely prepares the way for where you are going.
If you are a “sunny” person forced into a shady situation, ask God to help you get through moment by moment if you have to. Allow God’s light in you to illuminate the dark places and people who may be around you. Allow the Son to shine through you. We shouldn’t be seeking God to remove us from one situation into another if we can’t illuminate His love where we are, be good stewards of what we have, and display an attitude of gratitude for what He has already done.
Back to the caladiums. Last year I was browsing in the local hardware store and what did I come across? A newer hybrid of plant…sun tolerant caladiums! Too good to be true I was sure but I purchased them anyway. I placed my new beauties carefully in pots where they received direct sunlight for most of the day. To my amazement the plants thrived even in record heat upwards of 106 degrees! God can develop us to survive any environment just as someone developed caladiums that can now tolerate the sun.
With God’s hand we aren’t relegated to the sun or shade. He has enabled us to thrive when we are willing to make peace with where we are at present. Speak peace and love. Give generously, laugh loudly and be a good steward of what you have while anticipating God’s goodness for what you want. This is how we bloom.
God has equipped each of us to bloom wherever we are so we can meet those goals and dreams that He has placed deep within us. It is simply up to us to remember that we can be stable and able no matter where we are.
Sun or shade? Thankfully, we don’t have to choose.