Bloom Where You’re Planted
Acts 17 tells us God created mankind “that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places they should live.” (v. 26)
For what purpose?
“God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” (v. 27)
God has placed within every person a hunger to know Him. Many try to satisfy that hunger with substitutes, such as alcohol, sex, work. Blaise Pascal (French Mathematician, Physicist and Philosopher) said it well. “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
I remember the morning I met my friend Peggy. She’d come to our house to pick up her daughter’s jacket. I answered the door in my robe and slippers, with rollers in my hair. Our two youngest daughters clung to me while we chatted at the door.
“You have five children, don’t you?”
Peggy’s demeanor told me this was more than a get-acquainted question. “Yes, I do,” I said.
“How do you do it? How do you manage?”
Sensing the strain in her voice, my heart went out to my new friend. “You’re hurting, aren’t you?”
When Peggy began to cry, I asked her if she’d like to come in. No longer aware of my appearance, I joined her on our couch to visit. The girls went to their room to play while we talked. I listened as Peggy told me about her struggles with her new marriage and their blended family.
When she finished, I shared my experiences as a frustrated wife and mother. “And then,” I told her, “a neighbor invited me to a women’s Bible study.”
Peggy’s expression encouraged me to continue. “I noticed something very different about the women in the group. They talked about Christ as if they knew Him personally. He wasn’t just an hour on Sunday God to them. There was something about them that made me want to know more. I know now it was a joy and a peace that I didn’t have in my life.
I told Peggy how I’d prayed a simple prayer that day. “Lord Jesus, I need you. I thank you for forgiving my sins. I now ask you to come into my life and make me the person you want me to be.”
When Peggy understood how to receive Christ, she eagerly responded. Over time, she grew in her faith and became a dedicated prayer warrior. Since then, my family has moved many times. Therefore, Peggy and I don’t see each other as often as we’d like. And yet, we’ll be friends forever because God brought us together.
Attracting Peggy to Christ obviously had nothing to do with my clothes, hair or makeup. Yet, those things can be important. What’s the first thing you see when your friend offers you a gift? The pretty paper and the bow, right? However, it’s what’s inside a person that God really wants others to see.
The Lord has placed each one of us where we live for a purpose. There are people around us who are hungry to know Him. What will it take for us to attract them to Him? A heart for God, and the willingness to reach out, that’s a given.
However, there’s another ingredient to consider. If we’re to bloom where we’re planted, we’ll need plenty of ѐlan. It’s like fertilizer. It spreads easily and creates beautiful blossoms. But then, we’ll save that topic for next week!