See What a Little Love Will Do?
“The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in poverty. A generous person will be prosperous, and one who gives others plenty of water will himself be given plenty. One who withholds grain, the people will curse him, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. One who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but one who seeks evil, evil will come to him.” (Proverbs 11: 23-27, NASB)
So because my husband and I now own a house and don’t live in a basement apartment anymore, I’ve recently become a plant mom. Up until now, my understanding of plants has been minimal; you plant it, water it, give it the right amount of sun or indirect sun, and let it do its thing. Seems like a simple equation, except it’s not. Because obviously, a plant can’t tell you what’s wrong, you have to troubleshoot it and wait for a positive result.
So my aunt gave me a pretty, indigo hydrangea plant within a couple of days of us moving in. I wasn’t going to
have time to buy supplies and make a flower bed, so I put the plant outside in its store-bought pot and made sure to check and see it was getting water every day. And despite my timeline and good intentions of wanting to get that plant into the ground, every day, the plant suffered. Eventually, two weeks later when I was ready to purchase the supplies and plant it, the poor hydrangeas were burned to a crisp and most of the leaves were brown. It looked more like a sad matchstick bouquet than something that was supposed to be alive.
So I did what any newly married woman just getting started out would do: I called my mom. When I asked her if I killed the plant, she said, “Is it still in the pot?” I told her yes, because I wasn’t prepared until now to make a flower bed. “Get it into the ground,” she said, “Cut off the dead parts and get it in the ground where the roots can spread. It’ll come back.”
So I did just that, and to my surprise, just one week later, new buds and leaves are starting to come back. This excited me. I picked up a few other plants from Walmart, among them a beautiful houseplant with purple and green leaves. It was the last one in the store, and for good reason. It was smashed and droopy, leaves breaking off and wilted. I wanted to try because I thought the colors were beautiful and saw potential. I brought it home, took off the broken stems and watered it.
The next day, I found that the stems were more perked and it didn’t look so smashed up. I sent my mom a picture to say I was getting the hang of this plant thing. Mom’s reply was, “See what a little love will do?”
And something inside me said, “Hmm… Now something about all this preaches.”
I know what a little love did for me. God’s love took me from being the dried out, burnt up, dead-looking soul I was and gave me new life. Before I knew Jesus, that’s what I was like– a sad looking little hydrangea begging to be planted where I could grow. And Jesus saw me there in my sinful little place, picked me up, and pruned me. Looking back, there are many parts of my life where I could say, “Yeah, that was definitely God working on my character.” And none of those seasons were fun, but they were all necessary, just like it was necessary for me to remove the dry, burned parts of the plant that were keeping new growth from popping out.
Jesus saw me and knew what I needed: a little love. And just like today’s verse says, people that know that love deeply are more likely to turn around and love others. But people that know the love of Jesus– a love so perfect and overflowing? Imagine being full to brimming under that love… imagine just how much a difference in your life even a drop of His love has done for you! And if we could be so full that we could turn around and show love to other sad and sinful people desperate for it, we could truly change their lives.
The thing is, I know Christians can be stingy. I’ve been there. Sometimes, we don’t want to share because we want power, exclusivity, or less responsibility. But the Bible literally says that people that scatter good things like God’s love, will find it multiplied to them, and the people that don’t will find themselves in poverty. Whomever freely pours out their water for others to drink will turn around and find they still have plenty. One who seeks good finds favor.
Here’s your reminder this morning, friend: You know where you were before Jesus picked you up to give you a little love. You were once that sad, little plant that needed water, sun, and a little new ground to grow in. You too needed pruning and refining so that new life could come out of you. But there are plenty of people around you in your life that could use that same spiritual water you’ve been drinking. So yes, spend time with Jesus. Drink Him in, but don’t forget to turn around and water someone else with it.
Don’t forget that being like Jesus, you can literally show more of the Savior to the people around you, and you’re actually called to scatter that love around and share it. And if Jesus is anything like this plant mom, He’s simply REJOICING over the new growth you show when you flourish in the full potential of the love He’s shown you.