Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
There was not much to it. It was a one-gallon, plain, black, contractor-grade plastic pot sitting on a clearance shelf at the back of the garden center. The tag said it was a giant hibiscus, but there was nothing evident that would make me believe it. I was taking the tag at its word.
At the end of the summer season, one of my favorite things to do is to go to the garden center and see what I can rescue and bring back to life. There have been more times than I can count that God has done the same for my broken heart or situation, so I like to return the favor.
The plant was on the clearance rack for a reason. It was barely alive; the roots were bound so tightly in the pot that it would hardly release. The dirt was dried out and falling out of its container. I put the plant in the ground beside the driveway at the corner of the house, hoping it would miraculously sprout into a beloved hibiscus bush. Fast forward a few weeks. Nothing was happening. It honestly still looked as dead as the day I brought it home. I resigned myself to the inevitable. It had only been a tiny investment, so I left it, and the seasons rolled on and winter set in.
That would be that. Hibiscus plants don't do winter.
March appeared like a lion, and as the weather warmed, weeds began to sprout first in the yard. As I was pulling them out beside the driveway, I grabbed a small leaf that seemed different from the others.
Hold up. I know that leaf. That's a hibiscus leaf. Are you SERIOUS?!
Someone To Believe
One month later, that easily discarded, that barely recognizable iron-will plant was shoulder high on me, blooming and showing off the most giant 10” pink hibiscus blooms I'd ever seen. The same plant that had been left for the trash. The same plant that wasn't supposed to survive the winter. The same plant I completely neglected and left to the elements. The same plant I barely invested in.
It just needed someone to believe it had something left to give.
How shamefully true is it with us that we discard pieces of our own lives or the lives of others when we stop resembling what we were created to be? When we’re left at the mercy of someone’s selection or reduced to a label, that’s when potential can come alive.
These days, this sweet plant, currently in its eighth season, incomprehensibly and entirely outside of its nature, blooms, dies, and returns each year just to remind me: God's in it all, and he alone is the authority on potential.
Let's see those tiny blooms of purpose packed with the power to become. Call them out and cheer them on. Instead of calling ourselves done before it's time, let's be willing to go to the forgotten places—find those unidentifiable characteristics and call them back to life. Even if we're stuck in our circumstances. Even if the potential you see still needs to be realized. Let's be willing to give it time and watch it bloom, even in ourselves.