Toiling Faith

Purple African violet (Saintpaulia)

Purple African violet (Saintpaulia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think about from whom my blessing flow, I mediate on how God works in my life. I liken my faith journey as a work in process. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York; my mother had a garden out front of our house. I could admire it from the big bay windows of my parents’ bedroom that opened out to the garden. Big, tall, hello yellow, sun flowers leaned in towards the windows as if to say “Good Morning.” My eyes were always drawn to the rows of violets. I love the color purple; these kisses of purple peeping throughout the garden fascinated me. One day after reading the Upper Room daily devotional which touched on African violets and faith; I mediated on it. I did some research on the African violet and it was interesting to me how the plant’s care parallels the faith walk. I’d like to share my thoughts.

The African violet is beautiful but takes meticulous measures to assure growth and longevity. It is particularly important for the successful growth of African violets that they be potted in a wicking container (a pot-within-a-pot with the larger pot holding water and an overflow spout, and the smaller pot holding the soil and plant.)

We are like the smaller pot, seemingly self-contained as we go through life. Then the harsh sunshine of trials comes about, the temperature of certainty changes and now we are uncomfortable in our environment.

Violets are a little persnickety in the water department. They don’t like being watered directly and will show their displeasure by curling up and dying if water gets on their leaves. (Dramatic, aren’t they?) They will tolerate very light misting as long as the moisture can sink in before the histrionics begin.

As trials linger even as we are praying and praying over them, faith begins to wither. Constant, prolonged disruptions cloud our outlook; no longer are we flourishing.

African violets get nutrition from sunshine and soil, the soil’s nutrients can deplete over time so it will be necessary to feed it.

Faith is the sunshine; its brilliance is sustain when we read the Word daily. It has the nutrients required for growth and healthy harvesting. God is the larger pot holding water with an overflow spout; he has enough and is enough to see us through.

African violets will flourish with a weekly routine of watering and removing the lower leaves and blossoms as they pass their prime. In fact, in a few months the plant will be in danger of over growing the pot. When that happens, it’s time to re-pot your African violet.

It is essential for us to stay in the word especially during the potting seasons of life. Often we go about our walk feeding on what we think is in the Word. Daily reading, meditation, prayer and living the Word helps removed those overgrown leaves of stagnated faith.

Your first re-potting might be slightly daunting, and it is understandable to be reluctant to interfere with something that is obviously loving life. However, the plant’s longevity, beautiful symmetry, and health requires this.

Many times we miss out on the good fruit awaiting us because we are afraid to step-out on faith. We drop the hoe (a hand tool used in gardening) and throw away our hopes and dreams. Every once in a while, life will turn over your soil which leaves us exposed; for this necessary for us to blossom. Trust in the Lord and believe that better things will come.

My Prayer: Most gracious Lord, at times the soil is turned leaving me exposed and I might be challenged by the elements; you promise to never forsake me. Father, help me to stay focused in my worship and reap the good fruit that awaits me for I am willing to stay the course. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

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About gwenbyfaith

I work in social services here in New York City. I enjoy: reading the Word, fellowshipping, leading a lunch time bible study at work, movies from 30's, 40's and 50's, watching and reading pyschological thriller films and novels, hanging out with my best friends, collecting recipes and kitchen gadgets, spending time with my son whenever possible, watching football and writing. I should have been a buyer for Pier 1; I love that store and I have an interior decorator's eye.
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One Response to Toiling Faith

  1. Julia says:

    Gwen, I’m so happy to see you on WordPress! I hope you don’t mind – I re-blogged this post on the Christian Blogger Network. Welcome and thanks for adding so much to the Upper Room site!

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