RE-PLANTING: what, why and how?
verb: plant (a tree or plant that has been dug up) again, especially when transferring it to a larger pot or new site. To plant again, or anew
If the conversation where God told Abram to move from family happened in the 21st century, I imagine it going on like this:
God: Young man, you’ve got to go. Move from your home country, your family and friends. Basically, the life you’ve known all your life is over.
Abram: Yes, Sir. Erm (Hesitation) to where am I going? Don’t I need a visa, a ticket and other stuff? Any contact at the place you want me to go to?
God: To a land that I will show you.
Abram:[getting frustrated at this point.] But God, I can’t just get on a flight, train, or bus to nowhere. Which direction to even go? What do I even pack? For how long? God, just God, please be give me clarity.
God: TO A LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.
Abram: Okay, okay. Fine. But does this land at least have a name? Perhaps I could google it or something. So I know how to get there.
God: TO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU. That is all the directional information you will need.
Oh, and lest I forget, in this land that I will show, I will bless you. I will make you a great nation and make your name strong. I will bless those that bless you and curse those who curse you. I mean, you get the gist!
So, it came to pass that, eventually, Abram obeyed as God had directed him.
Let us recount another Biblical story, shall we?
After Adam and Eve had sinned against God, God asked them to move out of the Garden of Eden. God had them move into a new land that will be suitable to their current circumstance. This incident was not one where God said I will bless those who bless you. Or make your name great or whatsoever. The closest comforting words God spoke to them was that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
Ruth, and Naomi, had to move from the country of Moab to Bethlehem-Judah. Now for Naomi, she returned to her home country after she had lost her husband and two sons. For Ruth, she is a diligent daughter-in-law who had grown attached to her mother-in-law that she decided to move from her home country, Moab, to Bethlehem-Judah. Ruth, currently in the history, did not know the God of Bethlehem. She was a Moabitess, and they served other gods. In Ruth 16 & 17, it reads, “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do the same to me [as He has done to you], and more also, if anything but death separates me from you.” These words that Ruth spoke were a vow. A vow I have come to believe she said under the inspiration of God. Why? Because God needed her to move from Moab to Bethlehem-Judah to fulfil her purpose.
We could continuously provide accounts of people whom God had to move from one place to another for various reasons, but ultimately, these people will fulfil a purpose, be blessed, and have the room to be all that God had called them to be. It goes without saying that If Abram(Abraham), Adam and Eve, Ruth, and Naomi, had not obeyed the voice of God and moved out of their place, theirs would have been a different ending.
You are probably thinking, Adam and Eve were better off in the garden. And yes, I agree. That life would have been way easier for us if that had been the case. But here is the other side, we would not have received the gift of salvation. We would have to live under the law and be judged in our own right, on purity, Godliness, and righteousness.
So why all these people when the theme is “RE-PLANTING”?
Let me blow your mind some more, or not. Notice how scripture uses the analogy of seeds and plants to describe the people of God.
Psalm 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].
And also how God moves us from one place to another when God is yet to do a new thing? The Israelites are the classic example. Joseph, Abraham, Ruth. The list is tall and non-exhaustive.
What is replanting?
If you have ever housed a plant, you will know that there comes the point when the flowerpot or bed doesn’t support the plant anymore. It could be that the plant has outgrown the pot, or the plant-bed is overcrowded. It could also mean the plant is not receiving the right amount of light or water, or nutrients essentially, that the area is not conducive to support the plan to grow to its full potential. That is when replanting comes in handy. The caretaker or plant-mom will need to survey, research and decide on replanting the plant.
Referring to my point on why scripture refers to the people of God as plants the countless number of times. For instance, we are familiar with the parable of wheat and tares. And even Jesus describes himself as the true vine.
Our grade school knowledge in science and agriculture teaches us that if all the conducive conditions necessary for the plant’s growth are present, the plant will grow and thrive. Some plants are high maintenance, while you can get away with not paying attention to some plants for weeks. The critical point is, these plants have all the conditions present for their growth. If at any point in time, some needs are not met, the caretaker must adjust. And most times, adjusting means uprooting, moving, transferring or planting anew.
I am convinced that scripture uses the plants one too many times to describe various aspects of our faith journey because we are like plants as a people. We will only bloom, grow, develop in a place conducive for us. In a place that supports every aspect of our growth. Invariably, what that means is that if and when are deeply rooted and planted in an area, yet bearing no fruits or not blooming, we need to be replanted.
I find that sometimes the pot or seedbed, which is a temporary place of growth, becomes permanent, which is destructive to the plant. More specifically, some of us have become comfortable in areas we were to pass through. Some of us have become bosom friends with people we were literally supposed to say ‘hi & bye.’ Some of us are working in a place we are only supposed to gather experience from and move on. Some of us are pursuing passions that were supposed to only re-direct us to the real deal. We are holding on to temporary situations, desperately trying to convert them into permanent things. This is why replanting is needed.
I will not even lie to you. The process of replanting is messy, painful, uncertain. But it is also new, hopeful and rewarding.
The how is a process. I like to break it down into two parts.
- The caretaker of the plant prepares the plant to be replanted. As a child of God, God is the caretaker. God prepares you, like the plant, before He finally starts the process to replant you.
- The caretaker prepares a place for you. God prepares a place for you. He does not take you for granted. So best believe that If God is asking you to be replanted, He has prepared a fertile ground for you.
It is my prayer, that as we go through this period of REPLANTING, you will be discerning and sensitive to the areas in your life God is nudging you to uproot yourself from. And that you will continuously have faith and allow yourself to be replanted.