Have you heard the saying, “grow where you are planted?” I heard this about 22 years ago when I was speaking with a pastor of I church I attended in college a few years earlier. I had accepted the call into ministry several years before this and had served in several churches as music director and also as pastor. I went to speak with this pastor because I felt God had more for me to do and I needed counsel from a Christian man I respected.
After sharing some of my situation with him he said: “Tim, grow where you are planted and then see what God does.” To my shame, I left his office frustrated and discontent. I felt God had more for me, more to do, “bigger and better things” so to speak. The simple truth is I didn’t want to grow where I was planted, I wanted to be re-planted somewhere better. I didn’t exactly know where that was but I knew I wanted it. Earlier I mentioned this was “to my shame," you see the truth is there was nothing wrong with where I was. God was using me and I was right where God wanted me.
I discovered a few years later that I had a deep seated flaw in my Christian character—I had some doubts about God. I didn’t doubt the existence of God or that I was saved. My doubts were about God intentions for my life. I was trying direct my life, to be a Timocracy. Do you see the flaw? A Christian life is a life that is completely submitted to God. A Christian life is a Theocracy. God has to be at the head. My flaw was that I had my plans and goals and I expected to have what I wanted. When I accepted the call to ministry I gave to God my life, my plans, and my choices. I said, “I’ll go where you want me to go.” But the truth is down inside I resented that I wasn’t getting what I thought I deserved.
Many years later I understand the wisdom of the phrase “grow where you are planted” because I have learned, like Paul, to be content in all situations because my life is not my own. I have given my life and my all to Jesus.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
Growing where I am planted means giving my best in the here and now, wherever God has planted me since I trust God to do what is best for me and to use me for His purpose and for His glory.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
My life is not my own—I have given it to God.
One last thing to think about. One of the ways Satan tries to defeat us is to plant seeds of distrust and discontent in Christians. We have to stay focused on God through prayer and Bible study. We have to trust God since He is trustworthy.
Leave a comment and tell us your experience with “growing where you are planted.”