I’m basically the worst at keeping plants alive. I either water them too much, or completely forget they exist until one day I notice a shriveled up brown mess on my coffee table.
What Succulents Taught me About Faith
But this summer, I kept a succulent alive.
I received it as a party favor from a friend’s wedding. When I took it home I thought, “Great, this will be dead in a couple weeks.” But to my surprise, it was still alive a couple months later. And that included a few times when its existence completely slipped my mind.
So after concluding that succulents must be the easiest plant on the planet to keep alive (since I had somehow done it), I decided to cut it up and create more succulents. Because, why not multiply my success?
After some diligent Pinteresting, I knew my plan of action, and I implemented it. I pulled the leaves off just as they said, let them dry for a couple days, purchased the correct type of soil, and laid the leaves on top of it in a place that gets sun. I squirted them with water every couple days and waited. And waited. And waited.
It’s been a couple of months now with no visible progress, and I had just decided the other day that my plan had not worked. The leaves looked exactly the same as they did months ago, and I had once again failed at growing plants. Even though the leaves were still green and plump, I had seen no growth progress.
So the other day, my mom was coming over, and honestly, I thought it looked sort of weird to have a bunch of leaves sitting in cups on my windowsill doing absolutely nothing, so I shoved them in my bedroom for a few days, figuring I’d toss them soon.
Today, as I picked up those not-quite-plants to take them to their certain fate, I noticed something incredible–ROOTS! THEY HAVE ROOTS! After months of waiting and diligently watering and opening my blinds in the morning so they could soak up sunshine from my kitchen window while I was at work, I finally noticed some progress in my efforts!
I think this is a lot like life. We go through seasons where we’re hoping, waiting, watering, putting our dreams where they can soak up sunshine, and we see nothing. No progress. We hold onto an intangible hope that one of these days, our dreams will sprout roots.
And this, I believe, is the essence of faith: believing that God will come through, even when something looks completely hopeless in the moment. Even when you can’t see any progress at all, keep plugging away. Keep watering and keep opening up the windows for the sun to come in on your dreams. Don’t let your hopes shrivel up like a forgotten plant that hasn’t been watered in months.
The Bible defines faith like this in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
Dear friend, has God spoken something to you that you haven’t seen manifested in your life yet? Are you believing for something that looks hopeless on the outside? I’m urging you not to give up yet. Keep praying, waiting, watering, and letting the sunshine flood your dreams. One of these days, you’ll spot some roots!
Let these words from Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT) encourage you: “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”
Don’t give up, dear friend. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45 (NIV)
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)