All creation, come praise the name of the Lord. Psalm 148:13
One afternoon the boys and I were hanging around the house when we heard a knock on the door. Our neighbors’ son and daughter dropped by to bring us an Orchid root – complete with bloom. We had a nice visit and when everyone was gone I looked at that plant and thought, “what in the world am I going to do with this, I can’t keep violets alive?” I did not know what type of planter to use and just put it out of mind for a few days until I figured out how to care for it. By the third day little plant was in an emergency state and I felt terrible so I gathered the family and we all did triage – one grabbing rocks for drainage, one grabbing water and one emptying out the yucky frozen planter stored in the garage.
Orchids can be fickle but they are well worth the effort. They require special care. The instructions say the two top things that will kill them are number 1 – not enough light and number 2 – too much light. Alrighty then, that clears everything up! I researched with the family and then located everything we could find while snuggled inside our warm house during a snowstorm. We needed tree bark, a special planter, special fertilizer and soil. We had none of those things and could not get out to get them. “Yes kids, prayer works for everything.” We dug, patted, watered and then asked for some divine intervention. You tube videos on the following days confirmed our fears – indeed we had done basically everything wrong.
It seemed strange to replant this orchid while taking down Christmas decorations. Pine cones scattered my floor, tree remains and glittery pieces of who knows what still littered the floor. The little orchid looked so tiny, fuchsia and unique in comparison.
Why would anyone involve themselves in such a delicate, fragile flower? I’ve seen them in Chinese restaurants and nail salons. I’ve never seen them at a McDonalds. They are feminine and delicate, adding beauty and fragrance to any room. Why bother? I told the three guys in my house that I really liked this flower but really we are probably more “dandelion growers” than anything. We do pretty well with mint and poison ivy but nothing else has really grown around here that we can lay any claim to.
Did you know that orchids do best when they “dry out” and get saturated with water only once a week? Soak, expend. Soak, expend. Hmm. I recognize that from somewhere. They also do not need a planter to thrive but love to grow outside wherever they can extend. Unique. Rare. What a beautiful reminder of God’s grace and call to us to rest and go, rest and go. It brings to mind the song, “I give myself away, so You can use me” by William McDowell. *
At the same time this was all taking place I was studying the passage, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12.
The part that stuck out to me this week was, “let us run (with patience/endurance) the race that is
SET before US…
This is not just “get with the program we all have a part to play” language. It specifically means: to run what is placed before you or in front of you. That which has been appointed or destined for your life, what is present and at hand.
Not what others think you could or should do.
It does not say to run others races in their lane for them. It is not a “one size fits all” pajama pant arrangement but a call to run the path God has specifically ordained and created for you – the track He has laid out for YOU to run on.
Yes! If there is a track, there is a runner. The word “set” is the Greek word prokeimai which is a passive deponent. It means we don’t forge out our plan but …
we get on the moving walkway of His will – much easier.
He acts, we passively ride on His plan. Good set up. You are necessary and needed and God has specifically set that path in front of us so we can get to where He wants and needs us to go. Specific, unique, special. We can’t make others run on our track, or insist they follow our time, distance or speed. We line ourselves up with the Kingdom pathway.
A few days passed… and a little bloom was lifted above the green leaves, perky and strong. We named her Gloria (our persevering little orchid) and in George Washington Carver fashion we greet her every morning and thank God that He kept her alive in spite of our makeshift efforts of care. Her needs and what will make her grow are specific to HER. We will do our best but have to remain aware that all plants are not the same, some need different environments than other plants. God can make anything flourish and grow – if it is HIS will.
The boys only let me name one of our fourteen fish in the tank, so this new addition brought me great joy. It will be the first feminine named thing in our home – pink power! We were thrilled that the little plant survived. She’s dainty, beautiful and pink. I wondered throughout this process, what is the race set before us? How do we make a loving, environment for those “unlike” us or what we are used to?
Lord, thank you for Your beauty and the beauty of everything you create. Thank you for my beautiful neighbor who gave us this plant. Thank you for the guys in this home who co-labor with me and who helped me repot this orchid, even though it looked hopeless and took some time. Thank you for just the right amount of light to make Gloria grow. Thank you for the journey set before us that is unique, special and designed by You with us specifically in mind.
Gloria a Dios
*Also check out Give Us Your Heart by William McDowell. They are both great prayer songs.