If you have ever grown houseplants you have noticed that they will bend and twist toward the light source. For many indoor plants, more light is better for them to be their healthiest and most vibrant. As humans, we can be affected by light as well. The lack of sunshine during the winter months can cause our mood to sink. Both plants and people can find growth in the new year by bathing in the light.
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The following article is contributed by Rachel Schmoyer. Rachel shares her thoughts on seeking and enjoying the light both physically and spiritually especially during the dreary days of January.
I do hope you will take a moment to visit Rachel at Read the Hard Parts where she writes on the sometimes difficult to understand parts of the Bible. She is a gifted writer and has graciously consented to being a contributor and sharing here on Grateful Prayer Thankful Heart over the next few months.
Houseplants and Sunlight:
God’s Plan for Your Growth in the New Year
My new house feels more like home since my brother-in-law gifted me with some houseplants. He brought over an English ivy, a pothos, and a ZZ plant which gets its common name from its botanical name Zamioculcas zamiifolia. We walked around the house together so he could show me the best places for each plant. We placed the ZZ plant by the window in the living room. The pothos now hangs in the dining room close to a window covered with blinds where it can get filtered light. Then we tried to figure out where to hang the ivy. I wondered if the ivy would grow if I hung it on a hook in a far corner of my bathroom, but the hook was so far away from any light I wondered if it would grow. My brother-in-law assured me that it would grow there away from the light, but it would grow slowly. The plant would grow better if it received more light.
Scientifically speaking, humans also grow better when we receive more light. We do not go through the process of photosynthesis like a plant, but the Vitamin D provided by the sun helps our bodies absorb the calcium and other minerals that our body needs. Plus, the light helps us feel better emotionally so that we are ready to take on new challenges and tasks with optimism. In the depths of January, when it is dreary day number three-in-a-row, it’s hard to hoist myself out of my bed to stand in the dark at the bus stop with my middle schoolers. The clouds all day long beckon me to stay cozy and comfy inside and drown my sorrows in a bowl of soup and any Netflix show that is set at the beach. My dreams and plans for growing as a person drift away with the constant cloud cover. Each day feels the same as the day before and I feel hopeless to effect any change in my life.
Jesus the Light
When Jesus bursts onto the scene in the book of John, He is the Light that shines in the darkness (John 1:5). Jesus introduces himself as “the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). Firstly, Jesus is the Light for eternal life, salvation, so that we are rescued from the eternal punishment of our sin. But Jesus is also the Light for our everyday life so that we can grow. The Light grows our faith like a mustard seed, tiny at first, then towering over all our fears and excuses (Mark 4:32). The Light grows our unity to all believers in Jesus Christ so that we love one another (Ephesians 4:16). The Light grows our knowledge of the grace of the Savior for God’s glory (2 Peter 3:18).
Bathe in the Light
God invites us to bathe in the Light so that we do not stay the same as we were last year. Whether or not you have pick a word for the year or have listed resolutions, God is inviting you to bathe in the Light. He has a plan for your growth. Receive His rays of sunshine through the ordinary everyday reading of His word, prayer, and worship with other believers in the church. God’s Light can make us grow.
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Rachel Schmoyer finds simple truths in complex parts of Scripture through her Read the Hard Parts blog and speaking ministry. She is a pastor’s wife and mom of four school aged children in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. She has written a five-day devotional called Let’s Eat so you can prepare your heart for Thanksgiving. You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram.
You might also enjoy past posts from Rachel:
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