As long as I can remember, I have possessed a great love for plants. Living in Florida provided the perfect amount of sun and humidity for our plants to flourish. The growth of two of our plants exceeded all of my expectations; an ivy with runners of over 50 feet, and a palm that expanded from 5 inches to 5 feet.
When we relocated, it was necessary to sell all of my precious plants. During our moving sale, the plants sold immediately for prices much higher than I expected. The years of nurturing and cultivation paid off well. However, I was determined to take my prized ivy, and placed a “Not for Sale” sign on the plant stand. On the last day of our sale, my husband inquired as to how comfortable I would be traveling over 1000 miles with a huge plant on my lap. It was a hard reality check. I reluctantly removed the sign, secretly hoping that my plant would remain unsold. I was heartbroken when the individual who purchased my ivy, laughed and expressed that she would be the envy of all of her friends who would finally realize the power of her green thumbs.
In the 12th chapter of Mark, we are reminded that love is the greatest commandment. God’s expectation is for us to cultivate and expand our love to include all individuals; as well as eliminating all conditions that we place on others to receive our love. We are unable to select individuals as we select fruit- only the ripe and unblemished will be purchased. It is our duty to God to be a living example of His love for us.
The Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, 23, lists the attributes of possessing a godly spirit, with love as the first requirement. Love is not an option; nor is it an earned privilege. It is a condition for us to have eternal life. In the new heaven and new earth, former things will have passed away. This includes all malice toward family members, and self-designated enemies. God has given us specific instructions on how to cultivate our character. The awakening to a new day provides us with another opportunity for spiritual growth. Love is a plant whose runners should grow endlessly, and without boundaries.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz