Have you checked of late where God has planted you, or you do not really care? Maybe you do not think it is worth making a search or you are not just curious enough? It matters to know first who planted you; it is equally important to know in what place He has planted you. A tree that is located some two hundreds meters away from a potential water supply source will not behave the same way as a tree that is planted by a stream of water. They do not have the same credentials. The latter has fewer worries than the former. No wonder the psalmist stated that its "leaf does not wither." (Psalm 1:3) Why should it, if it has all it needs to get going in order to survive challenging times and this difficult existence?
Actually, this is what makes the difference between the trees. For those that have to scout around before they can get to their water source, they will not flourish like those that are stationed close by. The conditions are not the same. The further one is away from the centre, the more effort one would have to deploy to succeed in one's endeavours and survive trying circumstances.
Have you observed that for some people success comes after a long and arduous journey of failures down a long, rough and tough road? For most it has not come easy. They had literally have to struggle, to work hard, to fight back in order to eke an existence. That is their lot. Such circumstances rob them of their joy. It reminds one of the children of Israel in captivity. (Psalm 137:1) They could not sing songs in a strange land. They were focussed on their troubles so much and not on the One who can save them from those grim, dull and totally hopeless situations.
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat down; there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willow near by we hung up our harps. Those who captured us told us to sing; they told us to entertain them: "Sing us a song about Zion." How can we sing a song to the Lord in a foreign land?" (verse 1-4)
When we offer our lives to serving God, we have less to worry about. If God is our life source, we may not be in the best of situations but we are certain that with God by our side the storms will not endure forever. They will subside. It could well be a testing period for us to learn to withstand trials. It was never intended for us to go under. Water is a life-giving ingredient, a source capable of keeping us always green.
Yes, we were planted for a reason - to be an encouragement to others. When we are planted by the water source and live a full life, we become glaring testimonies of what God can do in the life of a believer. Even in our silence, we are vocal and eloquent, because we speak meaning into the existence of others. We give a reason to all who ask and to all onlookers why we live.
Our excellent status gives God honour and glory in our surroundings and beyond. It is visible growth and development not due to any special effort of our own but because God has put us where we ought to be and we give light. We are an example of what God can achieve in the life of those who spend precious time in His presence on their knees and with the Word. When we remain steadfast, we will eat the fruit of the land.
Are you yielding fruit where you are planted? Is your fruit evident for all to see? Are you different? Do you reflect the glory of God upon your life? These are questions we need to ask ourselves if we want to stay focussed. It is time therefore that we check our life-source again - particularly if things have become stagnant in our lives.
Things must look bright right where we are planted. The ingredients of life are not removed from where we are situated. Just as the plant needs water and light, we need Him who is the Son of God, the water of life, the great Shepherd of the sheep, Jehovah-Gireh, (the Great Provider).
Some first century Christians in Corinth were having an argument about who they should owe allegiance to. Some of them were wrongly lifting the name of those who had baptised them. "One says, "I follow Paul" another, "I follow Apollos", another "I follow Peter"; and another, "I follow Christ". (1 Corinthians 1:12) Paul concluded in these terms. "After all who is Apollos? And who is Paul? We are simply God's servants, by whom you were led to believe. Each one of us does the work which the Lord gave him to do: I sowed the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow. The one who sows and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because he makes the plant grow." (1Corinthians 3:5-7)
Paul is saying that they are just bare instruments in the hands of God the Almighty. "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour." (1 Corinthians 3:7-9) Paul is saying 'let's take the human element out of the equation.' The glory belongs to God and to Him alone. Wherever you may stand, it is the work of God you have been called to accomplish, even though God must have used someone to get your there.
It is good to look back and see the path you have trodden in order to express gratitude for all those God had put in your way for you to become what you have become. But let it end there. The real honour goes to our Lord and Saviour who has always had our interest at heart - even after we have decided to go it our own way like it was with the prodigal son. Even at that, the father expected him back; "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; ." (Luke 15:20) He had spent long hours at his watch post looking out for him. God is waiting to reinstate you, to replant you.
It would be prudent for all of us to know where we are planted; it is not only good for our livelihood but for our spiritual development as well. Listen to what our Lord Jesus said: "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:9-10)