There’s nothing wrong with a nice motivational saying to encourage. However, in order to bloom, we must accept reality and allow God to loosen those layers within our sinful selves.
Bloom where you are planted…
It’s spring, and that phrase is everywhere. I have no idea who coined it, but it’s definitely making ripples throughout the whole of womanhood. It’s fun to think of ourselves as flowers. They are beautiful…they smell sweet. In fact, I make sure I have fresh flowers in my home, weekly.
It’s just so hard for me to believe that about myself. Which got me thinking… if I’m not a flower what am I?
I am seeing all these beauties blooming around me, and I’m over here just trying to not be a cabbage.
Yes, a cabbage. Others are budding and spreading their petals, and I’m stubbornly tightening my layers. It’s a horrible habit, but I tend to self-deprecate. So, believing all those around me are beautiful blooming flowers and I’m being made into sauerkraut, isn’t far fetched.
“How in the heck is she going to arch sauerkraut and spirituality?”
It can be done…
I swear, this is probably the first time in history, someone searched the Bible for the word “cabbage”. Well, I did it so let me share my results…
I’m like someone who goes to the garden to pick cabbages and carrots and corn and returns empty-handed, finds nothing for soup or sandwich or salad.
Micah 7:2, MSG
Yep, I really had to dig for that one, but I read the whole chapter and I wasn’t surprised at all to find meaning and a point that will tie in. God is amazing like that. This chapter in Micah talks about not being able to find a decent person in sight. The world was full of evil and sin. Pretty sorrowful and depressing, if you ask me. Probably because the evil then, is the evil now. But, I feel like we’ve become more cunning at hiding our sin.
“Put this media filter on.”
“Don’t let that scratch too close to the core.”
“Look how lovely my life is.”
So… I’m a cabbage. I know what filters I put on. Most of us walk around with our dark green leaves on… hiding our sin, our wretched selves. Protecting ourselves from this reality: we all sin and need Jesus.
Try peeling a cabbage without ripping a leaf…just try. If you can do it, we need to talk.
I’m a cabbage. So. Many. Layers. When I allow others (including God) to start peeling them back, my leaves tear. I feel damaged, imperfect. Which sucks for a perfectionist. I like my dark leafed exterior. But, what do people do with those dark leaves when they buy cabbage? Oh right, they peel them off and pay for a beautiful light green bundle.
No one wants to pay for my dark green facade. No one wants to hang around a fake cabbage. The light green parts are easier to relate to. They show humanity, humility, imperfections. No one wants to spend time with someone who seems to have it all together. Yet, here I am, day in and out, protected by those dark leaves.
Towards the middle of Micah 7, the tone changes. He accepts his own part in the sinful world. Full acceptance. Not hidden, but recorded forever in the Bible. Now, I say that’s the opposite of layered protection. When we start peeling back the layers and facades, it forces us to come face to face with our sin. To allow others to walk along side of us in support and love. It forces us to allow God to cover over all we have done…
You don’t nurse your anger and don’t stay angry long, for mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean.
Micah 7:19, MSG
God is THE creator. He created cabbages and He created me. However, He did not create me to be a cabbage. All those layers, whether dark or light green, He has asked and even invited me to allow Him to gently peel those away. Those layers of sin I like to hang on to, God loosens them with compassion and mercy. It’s His nature; who He is.
Micah held fast to hope, in the midst of a despairing world. He knew the prophecies and that God had a plan. Today we can rejoice for Micah…the prophecies came to fruition. We have the redeeming salvation of Jesus Christ. Our “leaves” were nailed to a cross.
This is my hope: that we can root ourselves in the truth of God. Specifically, that last section of Micah chapter 7. I pray we can remember, God sees all our dark and light green leaves and wishes to throw them all in depths of the sea. I hope we can allow Him to peel away at us. Layer by layer, in order for our lives to bloom with HIS glory!