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Swiss Chard Christians
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I inherited the maintenance of a greenhouse with two beds of Swiss Chard from a previous gardener. I’m an organic grower, she was not. Until recently, I neglected those beds; the sad-looking greens did not have much flavor so I needed to do something. I filled two of the empty beds with amended organic soil including various minerals and nutrients. After transplanting some of the plants, I noticed something rather strange take place.

Once those plants from nutrient-poor soil were transplanted to nutrient-rich soil, they began to droop. Now, any novice gardener or better would quickly note that this is typical of transplanted mature plants, but something was different. The plants received plenty of water, and with cooler January weather, no scorching heat threatened them. Even after four days of care and nurturing they still drooped.

What I discovered amazed me: when a plant goes from poor to healthy soil, it finds it overwhelmingly too rich and extra stress is placed on the plant. The plant must learn to live and survive in the new rich soil or it will die. Yet in the old poor soil, unbeknownst to the plant, it was dying a slow death.

Something else I observed, those poor-soil greens were covered with aphids, yet after several days when transplanted to the new rich soil, the aphids voluntarily left the transplants and migrated over to the unmoved poor-soil greens.

Those wilting greens revealed Christianity in a nutshell.

Giving Up

Casual friends of ours recently told my relative they no longer wanted to be Christians. It seems when they did whatever they wanted, they had money, drove nice cars and were happier. But now that they were keeping God's laws and principles they couldn’t pay bills and were miserable. They said they were giving up and going back to their old lifestyle.

When Satan held them in his hands they didn't recognize that their lives were empty, without proper nutrients, and that they were slowly dying. Once they became Christians, God started filling their lives with spiritual nutrients. This God-rich life and its changes seemed overwhelming at first much like the swiss chard transplants.

Yet unlike the greens, where the aphids left the soil-rich plants, Satan instead attacks God-rich Christians to discourage and break them down. He throws everything he can hoping they'll return to their previously empty lost lives. Unless a new Christian hangs tight to Jesus, they will fail to become strong vigorous plants.

Isaiah 40:31 promises us, "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew [their] strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

My advice, hang in there! You're simply adjusting to your new environment. God will see you through this and you will adjust and flourish just as my transplanted greens have done.

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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