Bloom Where You’re Planted

This morning I noticed a flowering weed poking up out of a crack in the concrete in the back stairwell of the church.  I could not help but think of the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted”.  I am convinced that wherever we are or whatever we are doing, God is pleased when we do what we do for His glory.  Pastors, and especially United Methodist pastors can find this difficult.  It was not too many years ago that the average stay at a particular church for a UMC pastor was less than three and a half years.  It may be a little longer now, but there are still some churches and pastors that see an all too frequent turnover.  Diane and I will be blessed to soon begin our seventh year in Short Gap.  When we arrived, we knew our job.  Our job is to live and love like we will be here forever, even as we know we serve at the will of the bishop and are assigned one year at a time.  Diane sits on the board for a couple of local women’s recovery homes, she is a Wellness Ambassador for Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, she bakes special treats for some of her friends at the Union Rescue Mission, she is a graduate of a local university, Frostburg State University.  We are embedded in the community.  Short Gap is our home.  We know God has called us to bloom where we are, while we are here.

Monday nights our church hosts between 40-50 kids, many of whom have less than ideal home lives.  In discussions with the youth leader before the young people arrived last night, and hearing some of her heart hurts over kids not wanting to go home when the youth night is over, we shared with her a phrase Pastor Benjamin Wells shared with us one time.  He is a campus pastor at Marshall University and was sharing about how he just has young college people for a season.  He said his job is to “love them in the moment”.  As I see it, Diane has made that her life’s mission.  Wherever she is, there she is.  Wherever we are, our job is to bloom for God’s glory.  It hurts when the time comes for a new season, just as it did six years ago when we left the Ohio River valley for the mountains of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.  But there is no other way to live.

We know young parents who would love to go on mission trips with us, but their job is currently to glorify God by raising their kids.  We know more mature folks who are blooming and glorifying God as they care for elderly parents.  One of our financial secretaries is doing some paperwork in the church right now with a toddler and a baby in tow, for the glory of God.

My prayer for you is that whatever season you find yourself in right now, in a growing season or in a tough, barren wilderness, that you would give God the glory by blooming where you are today.  Be a fragrant addition to wherever you are.  I pray that you would find peace as you live for the glory of God in whatever season you find yourself.





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