Bloom Where You’re Planted
We all find ourselves in places where we don’t want to be. It may be a physical place, or a relationship crisis, or a time of loss, a life crisis. How are we do face these times when God does not seem to deliver us?
One of the defining moments in the history of Israel is the deportation to Babylon and the subsequent captivity of the Hebrew people, in the early 6th century BC. At that time, Babylon occupied the central portion of what is now known as Iraq, to the east of Israel, some 300-400 miles from Jerusalem.
As a military strategy, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had deported many Israelites into Babylon in order to separate them from their homeland and, he hoped, to make them more docile and manageable.
It was a miserable time for the people of Israel. They had already escaped slavery in Egypt, 600 years earlier, and now found themselves again away from their homeland and ruled by foreigners.
To this disheartened people, in a place they did not want to be, the prophet Jeremiah speaks in Sunday’s Old Testament lesson. What does he tell them to do? “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Click here to read the entire lesson.)
In other words, live your life. Instead of putting all your energy in trying to get to a different place, do what you can where you are. “Bloom where you are planted” goes the old saying. The time may come, as it did for the Israelites, when God would deliver them from captivity in Babylon. But life isn’t put on hold while waiting.
Are you living through days you want to escape and flea? Serve God where He has placed you. Live your life where you are. Become the flower He intended you to be, even if you don’t like the garden!
This column appeared in the October 13, 2019 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.