I am well known in my friend circle as having a black thumb. I have never been able to keep a plant alive to save my life, I have killed herbs (twice), and we have absolutely no landscaping for this reason. Every year for Mother's Day, our church gets a cute little potted flower for all the ladies at the church. I usually give mine away as an act of mercy on the poor thing. This year, surrounded by the wisdom and encouragement of my green-thumbs sisters, I was determined to keep this thing alive.
And I did! In fact, I named her "Mary" because clearly a miracle grew within her. Mary grew and bloomed. The flowers died off and new ones appeared. Eventually, for the first time in my life, I had a plant live long enough to out grow it's pot. Mary had to move. So, I replanted her. The problem was that her new pot was too big for my windowsill, she had to move outside on the front porch.
In the few short weeks outside, her flowers disappeared. I thought maybe that was just normal since these flowers aren't meant to last forever. She didn't grow bigger into her new pot, either. Then, my darling son discovered how fun it is to play in potting soil. She went through a very traumatic experience, we will just put it that way. I didn't think she would survive, but I put her back in her little pot and returned her to my kitchen window just in case.
She bloomed. After all that, Mary grew, new leaves appeared, and now we have one single flower about to fully open.
Sometimes we can have all the right things going for us. Good soil, the right size pot, sunlight and water, but if we are in the wrong environment, our flowers fade. Look around you. Examine your environment. Are you growing here or withering? God will put us in uncomfortable spots to reach unlikable characters, but where are your roots planted? Where do you come home to for nourishment, encouragement, and care? Examine your environment and ask God to show you if it is helping your growth to bud and bloom or stall and wither.
Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Psalm 26:4-5 I did not sit with liars, and I will not be found among hypocrites. I have hated the mob of evildoers and will not sit with wicked people.
Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend
Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up.