BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED
Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
My dear encountered couples:
Paul was in and out of prisons like there was a revolving door. We’re told he was a prisoner in Rome under house arrest for “two full years.” While there he was allowed to talk with anyone who cared to visit him. And that was quite a few people. He was able to tell them about Jesus, advise them, counsel them, lift their spirits, and get their help to spread the word. Though stuck in his rented house (and without cable TV or the internet), Paul was able to do a lot towards the building up of the church in Rome.
One very fine lesson we can learn from Paul. He didn’t sit around and bewail his condition. He wasn’t one who said, “If only I weren’t in jail, if only I weren’t in this stupid place, with these stupid people, then I could accomplish something.” No, he accepted where he was, whom he was with, he faced the reality of his life. Then did all he could to accomplish the utmost good right there and then. That’s the way Jesus always operated, that’s the way Paul operated. We might not always be that way.
It is so easy to feel sorry with our conditions. “If only I could get out of this house, out of this neighborhood, out of this town, away from these people - then I could do what I’m really meant to do.”
Some people remain dejected and paralyzed for years over their conditions and situations. Others, like Paul, don’t let such things bother them. They take life as it comes and make much more than merely the best of it. They take to heart the words of the 1960’s poster: “BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.” Still a great idea! If Paul could do it, if flowers can do it, then why not us? Wherever we find ourselves, that’s where God wants us to try our best to do something good.
How encouraging to hear Luke describe Paul, under house arrest, still enabled to carry out that mission “with complete assurance and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31)! Let none of us claim that our situation (the coronavirus pandemic) doesn’t allow us share our faith with a similar zeal.