It has been said that the grass is never greener on the other side… Yet, as humans, we tend to always want what we don’t have; we long for the grass on the other side - the grass we think is greener. Our heart longs and dreams for what we think could be. But contrary to this desire, as followers of Jesus, we are called to water the grass where we are planted.
This was a lesson that I learned while in South Africa with Antioch Discipleship School earlier this year. At that time, the Antioch Church in Cape Town was studying the same passage that Jason shared a couple of Sundays ago (Jeremiah 29:4-7). One of the phrases that the Cape Town pastor repeatedly said was:
“Water the grass where God has called you to be.”
This phrase has helped me understand that even though I do not know the timeline that God has for me, I do know that I can have purpose, because I am called to water the grass here in Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti. Let’s take a closer look at what the passage says:
4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NIV)
This passage illustrates how God is calling the Israelites who are in captivity to water the grass where God has placed them. I don't know about you, but if I was in captivity and relocated to a different land against my will, I would not want to contribute to the good of that place. Yet, God is telling the people of Israel to build, to plant, to get married and have kids. He also instructs the Israelites to not just be planted but also to do good in the land that they are in: to water the grass where God has placed them.
On Sunday Jason called us to be people who do good in the communities that we are in by being people who worship God, share in God’s rescue plan and show compassion to the people around us. This means that every day as we go to work, class, the store, life group, etc we would be people that carry the gospel and share that with the people around us. It means that we go out of our way to do good and water the places where we are called to be.
Maybe for some of you this idea of "watering where you are planted" comes really naturally, but maybe you're not even sure what this looks like. This Saturday, as a church, we are going after this concept in a really practical way through Love Where You Live. We are so excited to love and serve our community and to do good in our city! We hope you'll join us!
You can go to http://www.antiocha2.org/events/ and click on Love Where you Live to sign up. We hope to see you on Saturday!
About the Author: Maribeth has recently discovered a love for writing and communicating what the Lord has put on her heart through the written word. Maribeth currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is part of Antioch Community Church. You might find her drinking chai at a local coffee shop with a good book in hand, working at the local hospital as a nurse, or enjoying her new friends. But one thing is certain, she will probably have on some form of pink attire.