Earlier this spring my husband brought home two discarded whiskey barrel planters from a work site. Delighted by their size and matching exteriors, I filled them with compost, planted flowers, waited for blooms. The containers didn’t disappoint.
About a week ago, though, I noticed an odd green leaf poking out the side of the barrel. An unwelcome visitor. Like a duck in a bevy of swans, the vine dared to creep out among the flowers.
I stooped to pluck the offensive intruder only to discover it had bloomed. How could I destroy something that so obviously wanted to thrive? And what was it? A cucumber? A squash? A watermelon? Curiosity piqued, I left it to grow.
Thriving where one is not comfortable is a common theme in the Bible. Daniel, a young Jew, was captured and transferred to Persia. While there, he continued to worship his God and rose to a position of power under King Darius. Tricked into signing a decree that no one could worship any other gods for thirty days, Darius regrets sending Daniel to the lions’ den. He says in Daniel 6:16 “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.” Faith prevailed and Darius declared Daniel’s God the only one to be worshiped.
Similarly, Esther lived among the Persians, a young Jewish woman in the care of her uncle Mordecai. When the king banished his wife and sought a new one among all the eligible maidens in the kingdom, Esther was chosen. Afraid, Esther is asked to approach the king on behalf of her people. Mordecai advises her in Esther 4:14 , “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
My little leaf has since trailed itself into a three-foot vine. Blossoms appear every couple of inches, but nothing tangible has developed. Perhaps nothing will. I’m content to wait. The seedling is blooming where it was planted.
So should we all.