A Green Thumb

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters are anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)

I have a brown thumb. That doesn’t bode well for any plants a I receive.

I remember when Nancy, my wife, and I were first married. I loved Boston ferns. So, I went and purchased a large fern to hang in our apartment. It was a lush green. I hung it in a corner with indirect sunlight. I watered it faithfully. I followed the directions for care. I had great plans for that fern.

It died.

It seems when it comes to my spiritual life I also have a brown thumb. I read my Bible passages every morning. Okay, almost every morning. I listen to a hymn suggested in my devotional book. (Bread for The Day: Daily Bible Readings and Prayers. Augsburg Publishing House). I even read a chapter from another religious book.

Still, I feel dry sometimes. I have a brown thumb.

But God has a green thumb. It is God who causes growth. It is God who blesses.

There are many passages in Scripture that talk of God’s green thumb.

Psalm 1:1-3 states:

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

Psalm 92:12-15 states:

The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Finally, at the end of time, paradise is described as a lush garden. (Revelation 22:1-2)

God’s green thumb overcomes my brown thumb.

Finally, there is that word ‘righteous’ in these passages. It is a simple concept. A person is righteous not by what that person has done whether right or wrong. Righteousness is a gift from God. It comes from God in Jesus Christ.

It goes something like this. My brown thumb kept me from being ‘righteous’. But the ‘green thumb’ of Christ has made me righteous. I am turned from my ‘brown thumb’ and turned to ‘green thumb’ of Christ.

Christ’s Peace to each of you!

Pastor Ricky Adams

Peace Lutheran Church