Growing a bonsai was never my intention, but after cleaning out a drawer I came across an old wedding invitation.  It was unique & beautiful, but as far as sentiment goes, my uncontrolled desire to often spring clean got the better of me.  However just before dropping it in the bin, the small seeds in the lining of the invitation caught my attention.

I carefully read the instructions & decided to grow my own bonsai.  I mean, how hard could it be?

I found an empty pot, filled it with river sand and covered the pre-soaked seed.  I searched out the perfect spot for the pot and watered it.  Hard part done and dusted.

Day after day I would check in on my pot.  My pot of river sand.  Day after day…  this took much longer than I was willing to wait.

Then one day, to my great surprise, a little over a week of seeing nothing, there it was!  Two green leaves.  I thought this was way too easy and too soon, but the overly impatient part of my personality quickly pushed reasoning aside and started celebrating my small accomplishment.  I was over the moon.  I already formulated in my mind how I was going to tell my friends & family about my green fingers.

Unfortunately, upon closer investigation and upon the return of my reasoning, I quickly realized all was not as it seemed.  For the leaves looked different than I would have imagined.  All too round & thick.  Not at all like a newly sprouted bonsai, but more like a succulent.  My eyes scanned around my other pot plants and almost immediately I found another with identical vegetation.  I lightly tugged on the round leaves & without any effort pulled out the plant, which had no roots.  I placed the stem & leaves next to the other plant and found an undeniable exact copy.

It soon made sense to me.  My youngest daughter, Madison, often helps me to water my garden & pot plants.  She must have seen me break off a succulent & replant the stem elsewhere.

I laughed with amusement as my mind thought of how easily I was deceived by a toddler.  Yet simultaneously I profoundly caught myself asking God what He wanted to teach me about this moment.

His response came to me as a complete and utter shock, it was a clear & direct instruction.  “Uproot the counterfeit” He said.  “Huh” I finally heard myself saying out loud.  I have been walking around that phrase in my head for days.  What could God possible be trying to tell me?  What did I allow in my life?  What could I have accepted as truth, which in fact was nothing more than a lie?

Then about three days later I woke up one morning, as if in conversation with the Lord.  This is what I remember Him saying, “Why has the Christian Community for so long tolerated the Spirit of Fear?”, “When will you rebuke the Spirit of Fear, and deny him access?”  I have been meditating on this, until it all started to become a revelation.

God has given us all a promise, let’s call it the seed.  We water and nurture it, just like I did.  We even find the perfect place for it.  We look in, on our promises.  We visit it.  We continue to water and care for it, but over time, we may lose the excitement we once had.  When we see no evidence of that seed growing.  Just like me, we only see a pot, a pot of sand.

We forget about seasons.  He knows about time and season.  In his divine wisdom, He holds time in his hands.  His watchful eyes guarding over it.  We forget.  We forget what needs to proceed before the seed is ready to germinate.  All the conditions must be right, before the seed is instructed to break open, before ground’s womb will birth the seed. It all forms part of His plan.

But!  And there’s always a but, when we grow impatient in the forming phase, our patience is exchanged for doubt… and doubt exchanged for fear.  This all cultivates the perfect breeding ground for the counterfeit.

What we need, what we earnestly need is the Spirit of Discernment.  To be able to identify the truth from the lie, the promise from the imitator, and the real from the counterfeit.  We further must stop tolerating the spirit of fear, to rebuke it & to deny it access.  Allow God to weed out impurities from our mind and heart.  May our soil become fruitful to bear many of the plans and visions God has in store for our lives.

I have often thought about what it must have looked like beneath the surface.  A seed waiting upon the call of God, busy transforming & changing in the depts of it’s hiding place.  What could have happened if I did not spot the succulent in time?  What would have perspired if I continued to water and care for the wrong plant?  Could the counterfeit eventually grow roots and overpower the still small seed? I believe so.  Ask yourself this question today, what are you watering.

Niki Hodgson

But He answered, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.” – Matthew 15:13

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