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Growing in God - Wholly Loved - October 22

Growing in God

By Jessica Brodie

“… So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love …”—Ephesians 3:17

It was the saddest looking plant I’d ever seen—just a spindly looking stem, a few halfhearted leaves, and a tumble of roots in shaggy, bone-dry soil. Forgotten in someone’s abandoned office, the poor thing was alone, starving, and on its way out. My heart tugged. I’m no green-thumb, but surely I could help.

I took that plant and transferred it to a bigger pot, added water and several scoops of rich, black soil, patted it all down, and blew her a kiss. Then I set her in a soft patch of sunlight on my kitchen counter, where I gave her a name, Tanya—yes, this is weird, but I do name my plants. Only the ones I name tend to live.

Almost two years later, Tanya the plant is thriving, happy, robust, and reaching for the sky.

She reminds me of God’s people. In Ephesians 3:17, Paul reminds us that when we have faith, God is able to live in our hearts, for we are “rooted and established” in His love.

When we are without faith, we are like a dried-up, at-death’s-door plant, starved of the nutrients we need to thrive and live fully and beautifully. But when we get those nutrients through the things God offers us—His love, His holy word through the Bible, connecting with other Christians—we’re suddenly like a plant rerooted in a fresh pot of life. We can live, breathe, dance, and thrive as we reach for the sky and glorify His name and preach about His kingdom on earth.

Sometimes we forget how vulnerable and tender we are. We deprive ourselves of the resources God gives us to grow in His love and in faith. We don’t read the Bible, don’t go to church, sometimes don’t even pray. Our souls begin to falter and tremble. We wilt and suffer.

But God has called us by name. We are His precious children! Let’s remember that, bask in His word and His love, and grow.

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.

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