Plucking Up is hard to do

Day Four – Plucking Up is hard to do
Time to dig in to some Hebrew. Oh fun!
The Hebrew word for pluck up in this passage (we are using the ESV translation) is aqar, which means to pluck up or uproot. Further more, the visual image produced by this verb is of digging down deep, digging something up by the roots.
There once was a rosebush.
(I know some of you love rosebushes, so I apologize ahead of time for this story. )

We moved into our parsonage when my oldest child was just two years old. Right outside of our back door was this rosebush. Our daughter loved to walk out the back door and try to manhandle the rosebush. To her own sadness, the rosebush did not appreciate the attention. She would inevitably get poked by a thorn and I would end up lamenting the very existence of roses everywhere. We tried to teach her to leave the pretty rosebush alone, to no avail. I had to make a decision, rosebush or parenting angst. Rosebush…it’s time for you to go.
And here begins the story of the rosebush that would not die.
I hacked away at that thing, year after year, and it came back. I tried to plant things on top of the root and it always won, killing whatever I planted and pop back up. I finally uncovered a root as thick as my fist. I had to literally get into the hole and dig the root up from a good 2 feet deep. There was a fair show of manliness by my husband’s friends in chopping through that root to end the story of the rosebush.
But, oh it was worth it! Now things flourish and grow in this spot. I planted lavender and Easter lilies, grass that twirls in snappy spirals, and beautiful purple something or others that are delicate and soft, while hardy and strong. 😉
The rose bush served its purpose for someone, but our family had a different need.
So it goes with plans and programs, and ways that we do things. They can become fruitless and we need to CHANGE PLANS, do something new.
God tells us in Isaiah 43:16-21:
Thus says the Lord,
    who makes a way in the sea,
    a path in the mighty waters,
who brings forth chariot and horse,
    army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
 now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
    the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise.
(Emphasis added by author.)
He is doing a new thing! Not always, but sometimes.
There is a time to plant and a time to pluck up what has been planted. Some things aren’t for always, and that’s ok.
We can plant all the plans we want, but every single plan still has its time in God. If we don’t pluck them up, He will dig them up, if it is in His will. We can ease this process by listening to Him as He speaks to our hearts. We are invited to His Word, we read and grow in Him, and He tenderly digs and tends our souls and hearts and lives and plans.
And we can trust His plans. His are always better, I promise you.
Discussion questions:
When has God done a new thing in your life that felt a little scary in the beginning? How did you work through the struggle of it?
What Bible verses help you to remember God’s character and trust in Him?

*photo credit to Sarah E. Baughman @ Grafted Heart blog

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