Snapped in Half…

Last week I wrote about transferring our growing avocado seed into a pot with dirt. (see Planting) It’s been doing so well, and in the past week or ten days doubled in size, and began sprouting small leaves. Yeah! The kids have been excited.

But Annie wasn’t prepared for what happened next:


I snapped it in half. concurs with the advice I received from my sister about growing these plants: When the seedling reaches 12 inches, it should be pinched back to about 6-8 inches to produce a rounder, fuller plant.
Ouch. It was hard to snap it. It felt wrong. But it worked ten years ago when I grew an avocado plant, and hopefully the painful pinch will once again help produce a “rounder, fuller plant.”

I have been thinking about friends who have been in hard places. Our friend K. who we worked with here had a really hard placement that often seemed stifling. Members of her Japanese church were going through internal conflict, and not real excited about starting a new church. That is what she came here to do. I think she often felt, during her three years, like she had been pinched in half. But now- we’re waiting and watching- for how God, in his creative mercy, will use this to bloom and grow her. Only God can do that.

I think of times in my own past where I was sure God had made a huge mistake in where He placed me…or with who. A few other friends especially come to mind who are in the midst of painful times. Wondering – where is God in the midst? Would he really let this happen?

Hannah Whitall Smith writes:
it is true we cannot always give thanks for the things themselves, but we can always give thanks for God’s love and care in the things. He may not have ordered them, but He is in them somewhere, and He is in them to compel, even the most grievous, to work together for our good.
The “second causes” of the wrong may be full of malice and wickedness, but faith never sees second causes. It sees only the hand of God behind the second causes. They are all under His control, and not one of them can touch us except with His knowledge and permission. The thing itself that happens cannot perhaps be said to be the will of God, but by the time its effects reach us they have become God’s will for us, and must be accepted as from His hands.

There is great comfort in knowing that, even snapped in half, He will compel even this to work together for my good.

Here’s to hope that doesn’t disappoint. I’ll let you know how the avocado’s doing. I remember it takes a little while to come through the shock.


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