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  • Writer's pictureJodi

Rotting Roots

My Mandevilla plant is not thriving like the one I had last summer. I’ve watered more, I’ve watered less, I’ve dead-headed, pruned, plucked and picked, but I can’t seem to get this beauty to burst. But I know beauty is there- just beneath the surface waiting to explode.

The other morning, while I was out tending to my plants and flowers (one of my favorite morning routines, by the way), I couldn’t help but notice this one, vibrant, radiant red bloom. The bloom belonged to my Mandevilla, my sole struggler this summer. Her vine- green, strong, and full of life-had wrapped itself ever so tightly around the balusters of the deck. And her face was proudly gazing upward toward the sun.

My emotions and thoughts immediately intertwined with this one beautiful bloom. As she had weaved and wound herself securely to the deck so that her blooms could reach the sun, I was reminded that if I want to thrive, I must anchor myself on firm and solid ground. I must be rooted in God’s Word- His truth. As Psalm 123:1 tells me, I should lift my eyes toward Jesus. Like the flower so intelligently and instinctively was doing, I need to turn my face toward the Son. If I desire more than simply to survive, if I want to thrive and be bold, brave, and beautiful, then I need to walk in His light.

Like my suffering Mandevilla, whose roots are drowning in the water and dark soil, I too can get washed away in the waves of stress and anxiety if I’m not carefully tending to my heart and soul. I can become weary, withering up like the dead leaves of an untended vine. I can be troubled by the worries of the world and get lost in the darkness of it all, just as the roots of my Mandevilla.

Now that I know that Mandevilla needs less saturation and more light, I have moved her away from her harsh environment. The transport of my plant from deck to patio reminded me that I must be cautious not to oversaturate myself with the negativity and toxicity of the current world- news, politics, and social media. I must not conform to the patterns of this world. When I start to feel brittle, dry, weak, and weary, may this be a signal to me that I am not spending enough time in God’s word, in prayer with Him. I must renew my mind every day (Romans 12:2) and gently tend to my soul by rooting myself in His Word, by flourishing in His light, His love, and by thriving in His way.

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