Growing Roots ~ Week 25
We’ve had some storms in our area this week. Sometimes, they come during the day while other times they hit at night. Either way, I appreciate the rain as it soaks my garden and my produce pots, relieving me of my watering duty for the day. But occasionally, the winds from these storms can pack quite a punch and cause some damage. There will be leaves and twigs strewn throughout the yard as well as the rare branch that requires more effort to clean up.
However, the most frustrating part of the wind is the havoc it brings to my garden. Squash and zucchini plants can be flipped over when the wind catches their big, floppy leaves. This can damage the plant by twisting the roots, but thankfully, the damage has been minimal so far this season and they are still producing quite a harvest (See pic below).
Sadly, though, my pots of tomato plants have not fared so well. I already had one pot moved closer to the porch and attached to the railing after it tipped over multiple times this season and could not stand upright on its own. This week’s storms caused the other pot to tumble. Thankfully, the pots are relatively easy to set back up, but there is usually some lasting effects of the fall. From the front, it may look like the plant is doing ok, but when you look at it from a different perspective, you can see it needs some extra support. Simply scooting it closer to the porch railing was not going to solve this problem. I took some twine and tied it to the railing to provide the needed support to stay upright, especially with the threat of more storms coming throughout the season including this week. These tomato plants were able to endure the fall (and being set back up) because of their strong roots in the soil and the support system they already had in place (the tomato cages I had inserted earlier in the season, before they grew so large).
This is much like life. Storms will come. They should not take us by surprise. When they DO come, we need to reach out for support from others. It may be a simple hug or word of encouragement with the promise of prayer. During the beginning of our growth, we need to dig our roots deep into God’s Word, studying it daily by ourselves, establishing a daily prayer time, meeting regularly for corporate worship in our local church. Small group Bible study is another great way to provide added support others (and ourselves) in our spiritual walks to help us prepare for and endure the storms. But sometimes, even those supports are just not enough. We need people to rally behind us, picking us up again and again. Additional forms of support may be needed to help us STAY strong in the face of future storms. Avenues such as counseling, intense accountability (requiring us to be honest and vulnerable), and other measures may be needed. But unless we’re willing to admit that we have a problem and allow people to help and support us through these circumstances, we will find ourselves tipped over again and again, unable to right ourselves and damaging our potential harvest.
I have friends right now who are facing a variety of situations: personal health issues (mental and physical), the loss of a marriage, the illness of a family member, the damage from abuse, a child who has wandered from the faith, and a myriad of other circumstances. I have some of those myself. But, sadly, some people are not willing to accept help that others have to offer because they’re not willing to admit that they need the help and ask for it. Therefore no support can be given.
If I had chosen to let my pots stay tipped over, the tomatoes would not have been able to produce any type of harvest. I would have missed out on the blessings that tomatoes will give me. Of course, my pots can not verbally ask for help to be set aright, but we all know the damage being tipped over can cause and how repeatedly falling in the rocks when being blown over by the wind can significantly reduce any type of harvest or blessing.
When I refuse to admit that I need extra support, I am refusing to let someone else bless me and be a blessing. When I refuse to accept the help others are offering, I am potentially asking to be knocked down again. I need to humble myself enough to ask for help and accept the support. Likewise, I need to continue to extend the support to others, even when they refuse to acknowledge their need for it and accept it.
How are you supporting others? Are you helping them to set themselves back up after a fall? Are you scooting them closer to the railing? Or are you being the support rope that will help them to stand firm and thrive? Do YOU have a support system in place for when the storms of life knock you around? How strong are YOUR roots?