When we plant well, hearts grow

©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

What do we do when things seem dark, dismal, or difficult?

We plant.

We plant our hearts and minds firmly in the words and promises of God.

We plant our trust deeply in the Creator and Sustainer.

We plant goodness and kindness as we scatter seeds of encouragement and love to those around us.

We plant knowing that God in his infinite design has a plan for growth and for good.

But first we dig deep past the hard soil that threatens to block the roots as they grow.

We break through the parched and the cracked and the hardened soil that surrounds us. And that which is within us.

Like thousands of others who first heard of COVID and potential lockdowns, we rushed to the stores to stock up on staple foods and goods not knowing how long it might be until we went back to the stores.

During frantic food purchasing, I spotted two large plant bulbs in the store. The sign identified them as elephant ears.

They weren’t very attractive and looked like miniature coconuts or giant onions, but there was something about only the two of them remaining that made me want them.

I thought they could be a good COVID project for my husband and I to plant together as a symbol of hope, a sign of confidence in the future.

The digging was hard because of the clay soil in our area, and those giant bulbs needed to go deep. But we followed the directions and planted them.

And even though nothing seemed to happen, we kept watering and watering those areas.

One day, tiny sprigs came up in one location, and then a few days later in the other.  We began paying even more attention to them and fertilizing them.

Suddenly they blossomed into giant heart shapes sending a message of hope and love and life.

What do we do when times are uncertain and the way ahead is unclear?

We plant.


Because the same God who is powerful enough to create all things is powerful enough to protect and strengthen and grow them – grow us – in the future!

It’s a hope – faith really – that is confident and yet courageous. And it can be contagious.

But it takes time and effort to plant.

To plant good instead of bad.

To plant hope instead of horror.

To plant happiness instead of hurt.

Yet because of God’s faithfulness in the past and His presence in our present, we can plant and look to the future with confidence.

Three growing seasons have passed since we planted those bulbs of hope, and those heart-shaped leaves keep growing bigger and multiplying.

That’s what happens to hearts – ours and others – when we plant.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.  Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 NIV

  • Which plant has a memorable meaning for you?
  • What have you planted that you are amazed blossomed?
  • Where do you most need to plant with confidence at this stage in life?
  • How is your life growing in the Lord?
  • What are you planting in your relationships and your life today?

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


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