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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Grow where He plants you

It has been a hot summer. I tend to stay inside in the air conditioning when summer reaches its peak heat. Recently, I have noticed a few breaks in the swelter. One afternoon, between thunderstorms, I went for a walk. We had a pleasant breeze for a few evenings and we got out and did a little yard work. I even sat on the porch and had lunch one day.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

Something about being outside revives my spirit. Even working out in the yard helps me feel better. I like to step back and see the results of my labor. Maybe I like the sense of accomplishment. That’s something both my parents drilled into me.

The other day I looked out the window and saw my wife working on her plants. She was pulling weeds, trimming back dead leaves, and cutting off spent flowers. I asked her why she was doing the work. She explained that cutting the plants back causes them to grow fuller and trimming off spent flowers encourages the plant to grow more flowers.

I guess that is why the Lord likes to prune us back from time to time. He wants us to live full lives. He wants us to produce more flowers, which will ultimately lead to more fruit in our lives. I think He must work with a twinkle in His eye, pruning, fertilizing and watering us.

I have said numerous times that I am not a fan of weeding. I will do it, but weeds and volunteer plants have a good fighting chance around here. Since my wife was out weeding, I decided to go out and give her a hand. There were plenty of weeds out front that needed my attention.

The flowerbed out front has brick chips for mulch that was there when we moved in. Every once in a while, we will get a volunteer pansy or viola in this bed. I admire the tenacity of these volunteers and often leave and enjoy them.

This year we got a volunteer vinca. It is in a harsh location, but it is blooming beautifully. It is under an eave, has poor soil and is surrounded by the brick chips. In spite of all the challenges, there it grows, sharing its beauty with the world. I have watered it a few times. I can’t help it, I love the underdog.

When I finished weeding around the vinca I sat and looked at it and listened to that still, small voice. We don’t always get to pick where God plants us. About two feet away there is a container full of vinca growing in rich soil. This volunteer vinca has to put down deep roots to find the soil and water it needs to survive.

Sometimes we complain to God about where He has planted us. Our jobs, schools or sometimes even our churches just don’t feel like the best location. If God has put us there, He can help us grow, bloom and be fruitful in that location.

There is darkness and hopelessness all around us. People need to see the light in your eyes, the hope in your heart and the faith that keeps you afloat. There are parents praying for their lost children. What if God decided to send you as the answer to their prayers? Your light might be just the thing they need to guide them home.

When we become born again Christians we have pledged our lives to His kingdom. God has plans and purposes that we don’t always understand. One of God’s major goals is to win the lost souls. Someone reached out to you, loved you, and brought you into the Kingdom. Now God needs you and me to do the same for those who are living in darkness.

God needs you to bloom in the harsh conditions where you are living. He needs you to let His light shine brightly through you. He wants you to have the aroma of faith, hope and love, so others will be attracted to your life. If you can bloom where you are, then God must be real. Your bright light in the darkness will guide them home to Jesus.

I want to encourage you to bloom where God has planted you. If you are praying for a change and God opens the doors, then go where He leads you. In the meantime, dig your roots of faith deep into God’s word. Let His word water your soul so you can offer hope to those around you. Help that desolate place look beautiful with your flowers and fruit. Your warm smile will seem like His to those around you.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com