If you want to be inspired, just Google “plants that grow in concrete” and you will see amazing pictures of all kinds of flowers and plants that are able to grow in the most difficult, unlikely places. I was totally mesmerized to see lovely flowers growing out of cracks in a sidewalk, beautiful blooms popping up from a pile of old tires—picture after picture of plants that bloomed in the most unlikely and difficult places.
That’s the challenge each of us faces to make the very best of where we are, blooming where we are planted. The children of Israel were captured and taken from Jerusalem to Babylon, and through the prophet Jeremiah, God told them to bloom right there. You’ll find that story in Jeremiah 29.
But in Psalm 137 we find this sad passage:
By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? (Psalm 137:1-4).
Doesn’t sound like they were blooming there in Babylon, does it? Their joy was gone; their song was dead; they had given up because they were in Babylon and not in Jerusalem. Notice that they had the opportunity to sing the songs of Zion, the songs of the Lord. They could have shared the truth about the true God with these pagan people, but their response was, “How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
Maybe that’s where you are. You’re in some place that you don’t want to be—maybe you’re just bored or tired or totally unmotivated, so you’ve hung your harp on a poplar tree, so to speak, and quit blooming. I’ve been there; I know how that feels, but I just want to encourage you to remember that there is a beautiful bloom inside of you, planted there by our God, and if you’ll open a little crack and let his sunshine in, you can bloom right there again and his love will shoot up through that crack and you’ll once again bloom where you’re planted.
So, go get that harp you hung up on the poplar tree, and by faith—not necessarily by feelings—ask God to give you a song to sing right where you are, a song from the Lord even while you’re planted in that place you don’t want to be. You can turn your Babylon into a garden full of God’s love, knowing he loves you and sharing his love with everyone around you.