The garden is filled with lessons for the one who takes time to linger and ponder. I discovered the recent heavy winds snapped a section of rosemary and dropped it unceremoniously beside the path to decay. I retrieved the bright green tip and marveled at the aroma wafting from the green needles.
Ms. Rosemary displays a strong will to survive. With tenacity and determination she stands during drought, heavy freezes, snow, and monsoon-like wet spells. Although she was crushed and nearly destroyed by falling limbs from the tulip poplar overhead, Ms. Rosemary battled back to retain her spot.
It’s a joy to bring something green into the house during the short days of late fall and winter. Who doesn’t enjoy a reminder that spring is on next year’s calendar, waiting for us to flip the page on winter? I trimmed the ragged tear in the stem and surprised Shawn with a garden display in her kitchen window. The thirsty cutting guzzles water, and I’ve refilled the ancient milk bottle several times to keep the plant hydrated. I hoped we might enjoy her perkiness through the holidays.
Ms. Rosemary was not finished with her surprises. Slowly, with patience and purpose, the cutting sprouted roots out into the water. She may live for a time in the bottle, but Ms. Rosemary is searching for dirt. She became deliberate in her quest as the roots lengthened and turned markedly earthward. Roots are designed to anchor the plant and connect her to the nutrients she must have.
And I learned from her example. Those roots are going no further than the walls of the glass bottle. A plant requires strong roots to survive, but those roots must extend into soil. Ms. Rosemary may appear healthy even if she jettisons a few needles, but her potential is limited by the circumstances.
Jeremiah used this illustration to describe the man whose outlook is focused God-ward. That individual’s faith provides the strength to weather life’s challenges.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB
David employed the illustration to share a practical lesson about behavior. Choosing correctly where we walk, stand, or sit makes a colossal difference in the depth of our root growing opportunities. David’s example reflects a man who drills into God’s Word then enjoys a life-changing and life-sustaining result.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NASB
Go ahead and sprout. Put down roots. For best results make sure they’re extended into nutrient-rich soil.