Seeds in soil.
I'm the worst at growing plants. I buy succulents, cacti, seeds, plants, herbs, you name it...and I kill it.
I love plants and I really want to be good at growing them and keeping them alive, but the truth is, I suck at it. I think this has been something I've struggled with my entire life, to be honest. I clearly remember one time when I was probably about 3 or 4, and my mom and I planted some seeds. I had this tiny little teacup that she told me I could use to water it when it needed a drink. I watered those seeds probably every five minutes. That plant was drowning in how much water I gave it! I think my mom realized this pretty quickly, and my watering rights were revoked. Why I remember that so vividly, I don't know.
Usually now when I plant something new, I have the opposite problem, and I forget to water it altogether. Maybe I'm so scarred by watering those seeds so much as a little tot that I go to the opposite end of the spectrum...who knows. I'm really good at putting seeds in soil, but I'm awful at growing them.
In small group this week, we discussed the difference between "believing" and "receiving." All of these seed stories popped into my head right away.
Believing is the seeds in the soil. Receiving is a growing, living, blossoming plant bursting from those seeds in that soil.
When we just simply "believe," we are just putting seeds in soil and leaving them there. We forget to water them. We don't keep them near the sunlight. We don't feed them and give them everything they need to sprout and grow shoots and be a thriving plant.
When we really, truly "receive," we take action. We know the seeds are planted, and we know that's not enough. We know they need food to grow, we know they need light, we know they need water, we know they need care and attention, and when those needs are met consistently and often, there is beautiful growth.
Believing in God isn't enough. We need to receive Him. We need to feed our faith with the living Water and the Bread of Life, we need to be near the Son and his radiant light. We need to take action for there to be growth.
Our faith will blossom and bloom and grow shoots and bear fruit when we receive all that is being offered to us.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. (John 15:5-8 MSG)