One of the plants currently living in my room I found living on the clearance shelf at Wal-Mart. It was a little beat up and there was no label identifying what kind of plant it was, how much light it needed, how often to change the soil, etc. but I loved its hope-filled leaves that still held onto its green life despite the brown edges that began to creep on it. So I bought it and took it home, hoping to nurse it back to health so it could flourish even more than before. Unfortunately, since I did not know what kind of plant it was I had no idea how to take care of it. So I started with putting it in the bright light of the window. My little plant seems to be doing great at first and I would love to look at it growing in the sunshine. But after about a week of sunshine and daily watering, I noticed the brown spots beginning to take over again. So I took it out of the direct sunlight and began to water it a lot more.
Now, sitting right next to me as I write this blog, that sweet little plant is happily growing, slowly but surely, looking more like a fierce jungle-plant than a plant on the Wal-Mart clearance shelf. The brown parts have begun to fall off and have been replaced with new growth. All it needed was to be out of the bright light and to be fed more nutrients and water. Our lives are often similar to how this little plant grows.
If we spend too much time in the spotlight, too much time being all out there where everyone can see us, our hearts can begin to take the wrong perspective and wither. Too much of the wrong light can dry us out. That's why it is so important to go back to the secret place with our Savior. It is only here-- in this secret place of intimacy with our God-- that we are made new. We are renewed. Made whole. Healed. It is here, away from the crowds (as Jesus often took time to withdraw from the crowds), here where we listen for the Fathers' voice, where we seek Him wholeheartedly and let Him do in our souls what only He can do, that we are filled to overflow with abundant life.
May we never forget where our hearts belong. May we never forget who we belong to and who fills our lungs with breath and heals our deepest wounds. Let's grow deep and wide in the love of our Saving Lover. He desires to lavish you in His unfailing, unconditional love, Child... so let's take a step back from striving for a fading spotlight and instead find refuge in the open arms of our Savior, the only place where there is healing in the hiddenness.
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7
"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 17:8
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
Recently I've been reading this books called "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chole (no, I am not sponsored, I simply love this author and this book. If you want to be challenged in your faith, you can find this book and other great readings on Alicia's website: https://aliciachole.com/shop/) This is where I've been learning about the purpose of being wrapped up, hidden in God's love. I HIGHLY recommend this book. This book talks about the hidden years of Jesus and our hidden years. It has taught me a lot about cherishing these years and seasons of life that feel so hidden, to see them the way Jesus sees them: as a beautiful, kind invitation.