“Worth the Struggle”

We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Romans 5: 3-4  

I admit grappling endlessly with this year’s Lenten Blog theme and struggling to respond.  There have been many days lately when I wasn’t even sure whether I agreed with the phrase at all.  Is it worth the struggle?  Some days, darker than others, I couldn’t answer with a resounding, faith-filled YES, INDEEDIE!  Some days, darker than others, I couldn’t even reach for the prospect. 

But today I remembered what happened to one of my snake plants last summer. Snake plants – you know the ones, aka “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” – they’ll take a beating while still lovely to look at and even purify the air? To say my plants are stressed these days is an understatement.

Last July 4th, I noticed something strange with one of my snake plants. It was blooming. I’d never before heard of a snake plant blooming, and yet – there it was, a gorgeous cascade of fireworks springing from a dying plant.

And this particular snake plant was mercilessly stressed; giant cracked leaves densely and haphazardly huddled in a terribly crowded broken pot; there was very little room for water when I remembered to water it at all. Dead leaves browned and dropped, and yet, rising from its center: a bloom of gorgeous fireworks.

Apparently, I learned, snake plants can bloom, though it’s an extremely rare occurrence. And here’s the thing: They bloom only when they are stressed. Continuously stressed. In fact, neglect is actually what spurs the plant on to bloom.

Huh? According to plantcaretoday.com, neglect sends the plant a message it’s going to die, which actually motivates the plant to produce flowers whose seeds spread and will hopefully take root and thrive.

What a lesson for me at just the time I needed it, during the Summer of 2020 as well as today. When I neglect my path or am no longer able to see it, the Holy Spirit takes over just as the blooming fireworks do. Seeds of life, love and renewal spread and vigorous growth happens in the midst of stress, neglect and doubt. Indeed, growth happens because of stress, neglect and doubt. As I live into the stress and experience what can be the paralyzing root-boundedness of life, I can trust that astonishing, unexpected and beautiful growth is happening.

Worth the struggle? Just ask the snake plant.

Shared by Karla Hendrick

3 responses to ““Worth the Struggle””

  1. I love this post! Thank you! I have a snake plant that was my Mom’s and I love it. Hate to ignore it, but would love to see it bloom in the midst of adversity!

  2. What a great lesson Karla. I too never knew that snake plants bloomed. God, help us bloom in the midst of our struggles. Amen

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