Sunday, my fiancé and I were late for church. Really late. Like, late because the GPS told us to take a road that was not only detoured but permanently closed because there was no passage. The asphalt was torn up and the revealed red clay taunted my rushing spirit with a “You can’t get through here” certainty.
We wanted to try a new church, or rather; I wanted to try a new church, one that had been recommended to me by close friends. I was excited to get to the new church and maybe even see these friends’ parents, as I knew they were members. I hoped that this church would be one that my parents and family would want to attend as well. I was the willing guinea pig.
We tried to reroute ourselves and the GPS by turning around and taking the next available road. It took us back to that same torn-up road. There was no way to get to where I wanted to be without more exploration and trial and error. And we were late. I despise being late to anything much less a new church!
My fiancé suggested we try the church we had visited a few weeks before, and I’m sure he was thinking we already knew where it was. I knew he was right but I couldn’t help feeling sad. I can only explain my sadness as an underlying expectation to not only find a new church but to find a new church family, one that I could put some roots into and reach out to serve.
My fiancé softly suggested that since we were going to be late for any church at this point, we go have our own “church” of prayer and devotional time; I felt that sweet peace flow over me and I knew that was the right thing to do. And, it may have been His plan all along.
What I didn’t realize in the late lost-ness of that rushed morning is that I already have a church to serve in: Our “church”, the body of Christ as comprised of my fiancé and me. We will find a much larger church but at that moment it was important for us to spend some time with our Father and each other. Our time of prayer and Bible study was spent at the local state park, one that we hold dear as it is the place of our first date. We even revisited the Waffle House, where we spent four hours that first day talking and smiling and staring and talking some more. We did the same Sunday morning and the topic was the same: What and Who we are, Where we are going (together) and the Plans to be revealed.
As we left the restaurant I had a vision of a plant in a pot. Its roots bunched and stuffed into a shallow plastic container, one that it had outgrown. I felt the desperation of that plant that though now a shrub just knew it was destined to be a tree. A tall tree, flourishing beside a stream, planted in a garden with its roots reaching deep, entwined in the roots of the tree next to it, twin trees growing side-by-side, their branches providing extra support and the tops thirsting for the water only the Son can provide. It’s a beautiful sight, one I had seen before in a friend’s painting of what true love looks like.
I’m ready to be planted, to put down roots. And I’m grateful, humbled and thrilled with breathless excitement to know that God’s establishing my future husband and me beside the still waters, like trees in His garden. They say, “Bloom where you’re planted.” And when the Master Gardener sets me in my spot, this shrub’s going to reach for the sky and bear much fruit!
As a confirmation of this beautiful dream, here’s our Bible verse from this morning. Randomly my fiancé chooses a verse and we read and study it together. How fitting that this is the last verses of our day’s study of Psalm 92?
12The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him. ”
Read all of Psalm 92 here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+92&version=NIV