Planting and Plucking
Happy New Year!
I don't know about you but New Year always feels full of hope for me. A time to let go of the past year, whether it was good or bad, and move into the next season that God has prepared me for.
In the past, I have been guilty of trying to set unachievable goals for myself and have inevitably become disheartened by about March and given up.
Whilst I am no longer the "new year, new me" sort, I do still feel that the new year is a great time to carve out space to process things and look forward with hope to the future. Not because of anything that I want to or am able to achieve but because of the security of knowing who Jesus is, what He has done for me and what that means for the 365 days in front of me.
Whilst not exclusive to a new year starting, seasons and times for pushing forward and for letting go are evidenced in the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven".
The writer continues by listing seasons or times, such as a time for birth and a time for death, weeping and laughing and mourning and dancing. The writer also includes a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted.
Letting what God has planted within us grow can be difficult but as we work with God, it is a beautiful process that leads us closer to Him and allows us to become more like Him in our ways. Trusting that what God has planted is good because we know that He is good.
Plucking what God has planted in our lives can be even more difficult. It takes time and it can be painful. It can be hard to let go of something that we know was from God. It can be painful to accept that what He planted has served its purpose and it is time to let it go.
Yet here in Ecclesiastes, that is exactly what it seems the right thing to do is. That there is a time for both - letting what has been planted grow and letting go of that which has served it's purpose.
I don't want to spend this year wrestling with God and clinging onto old things that were planted but no longer serve God. I don't want to forfeit or miss out on the new things that God wants to plant and grow and do within me and through me, for His glory.
Just like we know we can step into this next year, full of hope because of who Jesus is, we can also be sure that anything God is asking us to let go of is part of His plan. He won't ask us to uproot anything without a reason or a purpose. It will always be because He wants to plant something new to bring change and a fresh reliance and understanding of who God is and what He wants to do. It's both terrifying and exciting in equal measure!
I know that it feels scary and I know that it can be so hard to let go when you have poured time, energy, care and effort into things... but I encourage you to spend some time this week with God. Ask him if there are things in your life that have served their purpose. Things you may need to let go of now to allow room for new seeds to be planted. New ideas, visions, friendships, passions, goals. Goals that are not unrealistic, like my previous ones from years past. Goals that are absolutely right and can be accomplished in God's strength, not our own.
It will be alright. God will know exactly where you're at, what you need and where He wants to take you. Let's encourage each other and see what God plants.
Luke 11:28, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice".