Don’t Wait Too Late…

Today, I finally had a chance to transplant a magnolia tree from my mother’s yard in Florida to my home in Georgia. The only thing standing in the way was a ten year old hydrangea never did thrive. I figure, pull the hydrangea out, plop the magnolia in. Simple as that!

Well, it wasn’t quite that simple.

For a shrub barely showing any signs of life, that thing was well rooted in the ground! I got my “good” shovel and made some headway but it still didn’t budge. I even used shears to cut roots but that shrub was stubborn!

And apparently I was too.

I wrestled with it for probably twenty minutes, maybe longer. I pulled and twisted to no avail. Finally, I asked God to help me get it out.

I could hear God saying to me, “you should have asked Me sooner.”

No more than a minute later, the hydrangea was uprooted and out of the ground.

Now, I will pray over just about anything. Large or small. As I sit her typing and muscle soreness seeps in, I wonder why is it we sometimes ask God for help at the end of a thing instead of the beginning?

Must we work ourselves to exhaustion before we realize, we can’t go it alone?

Sometimes we wonder “why a situation so difficult?”

I wonder if God looks at us and thinks “why don’t my children ask for the help they need at the first sign of trouble?”

That was my first lesson this morning.

Lesson number two again dealt with the hydrangea. I’ve been thinking for years how I needed to pull that thing up. How often in life to we let things remain that God tells us to let go? 

Sometimes we hold on to things far past their usefulness.  At others, we hold on because things are familiar. We often need to give up one thing to gain something better. Yet, the longer we allow our “dead things” to remain, that much harder it is to rid ourselves of them!

For you it may be a friendship that really isn’t so friendly anymore. Or, are you putting money in one place that bears no fruit when God is pointing you in another direction? Sometimes we cling on to a lifeless job when God has something so much better in store!

The longer we neglect those things that really should go, the more entrenched they become. Like my hydrangea, these things take up valuable space, suck up resources or stand in the way of true beauty and growth.

So, my first lesson learned today was “Ask God!” 

If you want more of God, ask Him. If you need more of God, ask Him!  We must not only yearn for God, but ask for Him as well!

Lesson number two was “uproot those things that need to go!”

It’s much easier to pluck up a weed before it becomes a full-fledged tree! Don’t allow your “half dead hydrangea” to root itself in place and compromise your space!

Don’t wait too late!

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 NKJV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. “why don’t my children ask for the help they need at the first sign of trouble?”

    1. We’re stupid.
    2. We forget we are utterly dependent on Him; we rely on the flesh.
    3. We don’t trust in His power
    4. or His love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lilka, as I was reading this yours words struck me – how often we ask for help, but so rarely suggest “let’s do this together” – let’s just spend time together because You love me and I love You.

    Now this may seem as obvious as 1,2,3 to everyone else – but you have tapped into something I have never thought about before: “Hey God, how about we just hang out together while I recycle this stubborn plant – you busy right now?”

    I used to “hang out” with my Dad when he was working on the car. Apart from learning stuff about cars, I learned stuff about him. And – from time to time – I would spot he had missed a screw, or left a tool where he couldn’t see it, or pass something he needed. He never asked for help – we just “hung out” together.

    Thank you for plopping pebbles that set these ripples rippling! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nailed it Paul!
      Hanging out with God. He is willing to hang out with us but often we shut him out of the mundane and allow ourselves to box him into isolated blocks of time. Church. Bible study. Or even our designated “prayer time.”

      I love your point about how when you hung out with your father you learned stuff about him.
      We tend to make God a “must do” instead of a “want to do” nice and easy. Jesus broke the veil that separated us from God. What if that was done because God wanted to “hang out” with us?


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