The Mess is Ok


I’ve had this prayer plant since July, and it truly is the happiest, healthiest plant I own. It raises and lowers its leaves based on its circadian rhythm, which is believed to be its natural design to catch as much sunlight as possible. It serves as a reminder to keep my face turned expectantly to God, waiting for him to show up in my everyday life and do the miraculous. Watching it raise its little arms up at night to ready itself to meet the sun in the morning encourages me to not only start my day with the Lord but also to end my day with arms outstretched to him.

This past weekend I felt a strange impression that it needed repotting—that it needed room to grow. I know that you usually repot in the spring and not in the dead of winter, but I ignored what I knew and followed my gut. I tried one planter and it was too small. Then I tried another and it was too large. I finally found one that was just the right size, but it didn’t have a drainage hole. So back into its nursery pot my little plant went, and I placed it directly inside the just-right planter.

When I stepped back to admire its temporary new home, I noticed all the dirt that had fallen around it. I felt a nudge from the Lord and heard him whisper “The mess is ok. It has no lack; it still has what it needs to thrive. You can move it again, leave behind more dirt, and it will still grow.”

Transition is messy. Growth is messy. But the mess is ok. He’s in the mess. He’s an ever-attentive gardener that bends down low beside us to make adjustments for our benefit. Adjustments that help us stay healthy by giving us room to spread out our roots. Adjustments for our good and for our growth. He even allows us to make our own changes, letting us try on things for size to see how we grow and flourish in new conditions. There’s no shame in needing to adjust our containers for growth—even when it’s messy.

Now every time I look at this plant, I ask myself these questions: What is he moving me out of and into? How is he making room for growth in my life? What am I leaving behind that’s unnecessary for my good and my growth? Thankfully I’m not alone. The Gardener is right there with me.