they also provide little life lessons ... take for example my two planters ... the exact same flowers were put in each planter ... one started growing right away ( see picture below) ... and today you can barely see the planter itself - because of all the glorious, cascading flowers!
unfortunately, the other plant didn't take (see pic below) ... i replanted it ... fed it ... did everything i could think of - but it sputtered and died ... just like some who profess to follow Christ ...
even though others may have helped them along ... babied and nurtured them ... if their own root system is lacking - their faith will shrivel up ... they could have lead fruitful lives too ... but they didn't dig in for the long haul!
notice the sweet little flower on this hardy plant? without anyone's help, it found a place to grow ... God can sustain us anywhere! we can grow in any circumstance - regardless of how inhospitable it may seem ... if God is the ONE who waters, tends and feeds us - the only thing left for us to do is to bloom ...
Mark 4: 1-9; 13-20 (21st Century King James Version)
1And He began again to teach by the seaside. And there was gathered unto Him a great multitude, so that He entered into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2And He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in His doctrine:
3"Hearken! Behold, there went out a sower to sow.
4And it came to pass as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5And some fell on stony ground where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth.
6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8And other fell on good ground; and it yielded fruit that sprang up and increased and brought forth: some thirty, and some sixty, and some a hundredfold."
9And He said unto them, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
13And He said unto them, "Know you not this parable? And how then will ye know all parables?
14The sower soweth the Word.
15And these are they by the wayside, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts.
16And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17but they have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time. Afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18And these are they which are sown among thorns, such as hear the Word,
19but the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20And these are they which are sown on good ground, such as hear the Word and receive it and bring forth fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."