Is 'Bloom Where You're Planted' Biblical and What Does it Mean for Relationships?
- Heather Riggleman Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2021 17 Feb
We live in skin that holds us together but it’s so easy to scrape it open. It’s easy to bruise it, burn it, or scar it. But this is the beauty of living in a world where God clothed us in bodies, He is asking us to do the best we can and bloom where we’re planted. In all honesty, though, learning to bloom where you’re planted is excruciating. It feels like I’ve been buried six feet under in the dark and I’m desperately clawing my way to the surface.
For two years, our lives were buried deep in hard dirt. When we talked about having another child, I learned I had cancer. Then I had to have a hysterotomy. A few months later, I had a brain infection. Before I was released, I had to learn how to walk and talk again. In the middle of all my struggles, my husband faced heart failure where he had to be cardioverted several different times. There were also two different moments when he had to be resuscitated. These moments of life and death brought me to my knees, and I questioned what God was doing. At one point, a doctor helped me up off the floor of the emergency room and told me it was time to learn to bloom where I was planted.
I was like, “Excuse me. You don’t know my life. You don’t know what we have already gone through. How can you say this to me?” The message about this lovely colloquialism is to encourage people to see the better side and reach for it while you’re going through hard times. I’m sure someone has said this to you at some point. It doesn’t feel good, but they do have a point. But is it even Biblical? Is it even helpful?
Is “Bloom Where You Are Planted” In the Bible?
Scripture does not have this exact phrase and the earliest mention of this phrase is credited to The Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales who lived from 1567 to 1622. He is credited for the following: “Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence.”
There are references to being planted in the Bible:
Isaiah 37:31 “And the remnant shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.”
Jeremiah 17:8 “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
1 Peter 1:23 “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”
Psalm 80:9 “You cleared the ground before it, And it took deep root and filled the land.”
Jeremiah 1:10 “See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.”
What Does it Mean to Bloom Where You’re Planted?
Life is hard. There are so many unexpected moments and circumstances that can drop us to our knees and take our breath away. But, even on our knees, we can bloom where we’re planted. But what does that mean in these moments?
According to God’s Word, we can be fruitful and blossom. John 15:1-3;5 tells us an eloquent story of the vine and branches. Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
When we submit our lives to Christ, He prunes us. He removes anything that hinders us from living our lives to the fullest in Him.
When life throws us lemons, we make lemonade. The Bible tells us a story when Peter, also called Simon was being sifted. “And the Lord said, “’Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren’” Luke 22:31-32.
God will allow us to go through hard times and tribulations in order to be sifted. Because once we get through the sifting process, the only thing remaining will be the goodness of God in all situations. He allows us to ‘grow’ through it in order to be resilient.
We will go through hard times. We will feel as though our lives are buried in the dark. God allows this so we can bloom where we are planted. We can’t choose the cards life has dealt us, but we can learn to play them. In God’s hands, every situation prepares us for the next season of life. Perhaps the best definition of this phrase is this: To bloom where we are planted means to grow, develop, and be pruned in order to develop in hard dirt to reflect the goodness of Christ!
How to Bloom Where You’re Planted
One of my favorite quotes about learning to bloom in hard times is from Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” If we are to thrive, then we need to know who is trying to keep us from thriving. In John10:10, Jesus tells us about our enemy, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The enemy has an agenda that includes destroying us in any and every way possible. This includes the hard moments in life where we question God’s goodness. Jesus tells us He is the polar opposite of that. We have an abundance of security, forgiveness, love, and guidance in Christ. This means we lean in hard to the refining process, we embrace the challenge, and we keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
Lean into the Refining Process
Every one of us has moments where it feels like we are walking through fiery times in our lives. The Bible mentions the refining process several times in relation to how God grows us and changes us to be more like Him. But He is there to guide, prune, water, correct, encourage, and empower us to bloom in the process.
When a refiner purifies gold, he melts it in a pot over a fire. He keeps turning up the heat and skims the impurities that rise to the surface. But the beautiful part, he never leaves the gold alone. Jesus is the same—no matter how hot the fires blaze, He is with us through the process. Our job is to lean into the process, knowing we will fiercely flourish on the other side. 1 Peter 1:6-7, says “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Embrace the Challenge
In the heat of the moment, bloom, don’t wilt! They say pressure creates beautiful things. Diamonds withstand incredible pressure during their formation. Pearls are created when a clam is irritated by a tiny grain of sand. A caterpillar turns into a butterfly after slowly breaking free of its cocoon. Forests regrow and bloom abundantly after forest fires. Change, beauty, and flourishing go hand in hand with pressure, hard times, and fire. While it’s not pleasant, we can get on our knees and embrace the challenges in front of us. When life seems full of pain, pressure, and challenges, we need to remember what Paul said to Timothy about “enduring hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).
Keep Your Eyes on Jesus
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the middle of life’s storms but you aren’t alone. When the disciples fell asleep and woke up to a raging storm, they became so afraid. Matthew 4:35-41 illustrates this story and when Jesus stood up, He calmly commanded the wind and the waves to be still. Without getting rid of the storm, He overcame it. Later, in Matthew 14, Peter learned to walk on water. Not because of his faith, but because he kept his eyes on Jesus. It was only when Peter kept his focus on Christ, that he received the divine intervention when he needed it. Both of these stories remind us to keep our eyes firmly on Jesus in order to bloom through life’s storms!
If you’re looking for a way to bloom where you’re planted in order to overcome fear, this Bible Study Guide will lead you on a journey with handpicked scriptures that encompass keeping our eyes on Christ. While you may not be able to see it right now, like a seed planted deep in the earth, your roots will grow deep in Him and nothing will stop you from blooming and flourishing again!
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Epitavi
Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 22 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and a contributor to several books. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.