Bloom Where You Are Planted
Do you ever find yourself wishing that you were in someone else’s skin? That if you had their life, or abilities, or opportunities, or personality, you could be successful? You could have a wonderful ministry? Maybe it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others and to bloom where you are planted.
I have a good friend who has said to me in the past that she does not understand why God has not given her the opportunity to serve Him in a bigger way. She has a nice singing voice, but never got to use it. She loves worship dance, but there was no place to develop it. She has always been interested in business and has wanted business of her own, but never got the chance. She does beautiful art work, but has no place to sell it. All these disappointments leave her discouraged and with an attitude of, “What’s the use of hoping or trying?” She is not the only one to feel that way.
Life is too precious to waste on wishing for something you can’t have, or regretting opportunities you have missed or messed up on. It’s much more important to find fulfillment in the opportunities you have right now; finding joy in blooming where you are planted. God has something for you to do right where you are, for His glory.
Eph. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
When we thank God for where we are, and trust Him to use us in this very place, with all its disappointments and challenges; as we cultivate an attitude of gratitude that we are alive, that we know Him, that He loves us and has work for us to do, He will bless us right where we are. Our discouragement will be turned into joy and fulfillment.
The parable of the 10 talents teaches us that investing what we have, where we are, will result in increasing opportunity and blessing for us. This parable, found in Matthew chapter 25, relates to the Lord Jesus’ return to earth, and compares it to a wealthy man returning from a trip.
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents,to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’
But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.’” Matt. 25:18-29
What is God saying to us about using what He has given us through this parable?
- First, the servant who buried the money entrusted to him, had an improper picture of his master. He did not see his master as being fair or forgiving, but as being “hard”; he was afraid to fail such a man, so he did not try to invest what he had been given.
It’s obvious that the master was a benevolent person, from his generosity to the servants who invested what they had been given, because he allowed them to keep the original money, plus the profit they made from investing it.
Maybe because servant #3 was not given as much as the other two servants, he was jealous; or he felt that his master showed favoritism to them, and did not give him the same advantage for success.
Perhaps he viewed the situation through a grid of self-pity? “Poor me, I didn’t get the break that the others had. He doesn’t trust me as much. He doesn’t like me.” It’s similar to things I have heard people say: “I was not born into a wealthy family. No one helps me when I need it. Everything always goes bad for me. I have always had to make it on my own.”
Like the third servant, some people have a totally inaccurate view of God. Their lives have been tough, and rather than placing the blame on those who have treated them badly, they blame God. There are some who would even blame God before they would blame Satan, for the evil in the world or the hardship in their lives.
- Second, the one talent servant had an improper fear of his master. The servant was afraid of his master rather than having the appropriate respect and awe of him.
Whatever the reason, the third servant did not invest what he had been entrusted with. When he returned the original one talent to the master, it was given to the servant who had the 10 talents.
The passage in Matt. 25 ends with:
“For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
You may think that is unfair, but I believe that because the first two servants had taken the time to get to know what their master was like; they had a proper view of his character and the proper respect for him. They appreciated the trust shown to them in the property left in their care. The third servant should have taken a lesson from them. He didn’t, until it was too late.
However, it’s not too late for you to change from a complainer to one who appreciates God’s goodness to you. He has invested something in you that He wants you to use, which will bring blessings to you, to others, and to His kingdom.
My friend whom I mentioned in the beginning of this post recently told me that she believes God is using her in her current job to represent Him to her co-workers. Many of them have had tough lives, or are currently experiencing many of the things she has gone through in the past. Because they know that she has had her struggles, they have watched her responses to the difficulties of her job. She has a gift of conversation; she is comfortable talking with anyone and has the ability to put others at ease. Little by little several of her co-workers are feeling free to share their own challenges and struggles with her. As she relates with them and gives them encouragement, she drops words about the Lord here and there.
I believe my friend is learning to bloom where she is planted. That lesson is one she can take with her wherever the Lord leads her next. I also believe that her increasing thankfulness and faithfulness will lead to increased blessings in her life.
How about you? Are you always waiting for that break that never seems to come? Do you need to be freed from comparing your life and your talents with those of others?
Maybe you need to ask God to show you the good works He has prepared beforehand for you to walk in. Invest your “talents” while you have the chance, before your master returns to collect the interest. Bloom where you are planted.
©2012, Marcy Alves
Posted on August 5, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, My Journey, Reflections and tagged appreciating what you have, comparing your life with others, Investment, opportunities, Parable of the talents or minas, thankfulness, the ten talents, the unfaithful servant, using your gifts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.