Planting and Plucking Up
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what has been planted (Ecclesiastes 3:2, ESV)
I’m preparing the soil on the west side of our home so I can transplant two rose bushes that are currently on the east side of the house. In their new environment their roots will be able to go deeper and their branches spread out more. They will get a better balance of sun and shade. I have studied how to have a successful transplant and talked to those who know way more than I do about such things. I’ve even prepared my bushes for their move. Assuring them I am not putting them out or rejecting them, just giving them a better living space (yes, I’m one of those people who talk to their plants!) Years ago, I would not have tried such an undertaking, but I feel much more confident about planting and uprooting and when the right time is for both.
Solomon wrote there is a time to plant and a time to pluck up or uproot. While this is true with farming and gardening it’s also true with life. Nothing except heaven and love will last forever. St. Paul said in I Corinthians, “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.” Love is the only experience that will transplant with us from earth to exist in eternity.
Solomon’s poem reminds us how fleeting human life is. Just like the agricultural seasons: the field gets planted but before long it is time to plow it up. The seeds that were sown were not meant to live in the field forever. We should have a similar intuition concerning the season of life and when we listen to God and walk by the Spirit we can know when we have entered a season that calls for planting or plucking up or uprooting. When we are in step with the Spirit, we do not have to fear beginnings and endings, sewing and taking out.
Just like birth and death, planting and plucking up are not opposites but counterparts necessary for growth, advancement, and newness; they are necessary parts of God’s scheme of things and because they are, we can do both at their proper time for even they have been ordained, appointed, planned, and arranged by God who is an expert in planting and uprooting.
Back to my roses. When the previous owner planted them that may have been the best spot at the time. She may have done so thinking they would be there forever, and they have done quite well where they are. But the time has come to place them in a better spot. That way they can continue to grow, produce even more, healthier roses, that endure the seasons. This is the way God chooses for us. We may have done well on earth, been successful at many things, produced and advanced, but the day will come when he knows we will be better in heaven with him where we can continue grow, emerge, become stronger, be healthier, happier and finally produce the beautiful fruit we were meant to bear. It won’t happen unless the body he planted here is plucked up and taken to be with him in heaven for all eternity.
What are your greatest fears about plucking up or uprooting something that has been a certain way for some time? Have you heard from God that it’s time to plant or uproot something? What will you do next?
Praying Ecclesiastes 3:2
Gracious God, your ways continue to amaze and surprise us. Thank you for opening your Word to us and helping us understand more about the way you work and how you look at the activities of earth and our lives. In your care there is still so much we can learn. Amen