As gardeners know, some plants need their best buddies nearby in order to flourish.
It’s been known for centuries that planting certain combinations of plants together can help the garden prosper. This practice is known as “companion planting.”
For instance, planting alliums such as garlic underneath roses can protect the latter against blackspot and aphids. When lilies and roses are planted together, the scent of each improves.
Yarrow and foxglove have a tonic effect on the plants in their vicinity. Yarrow helps fight off pests, attracts beneficial insects, and improves the soil. Likewise, foxglove stimulates the growth of nearby plants and helps them build up resistance to disease. Planting foxglove under fruit trees improves the storage qualities of the fruit.
Perhaps the ultimate companion plant is marigold. It has traditionally been grown with tomatoes to keep them healthy and produce a better crop. Marigold’s pungent odour disguises the scent of vegetables from pests, preventing them from homing in, and its root secretions kill nematodes that attack plant roots.
Who wouldn’t want such stalwart companions in their corner?
God wants us to have buddies like these on our team, too.
If you’re a gardener, you might sometimes look at your plants and decide that they’re missing something.
They need more “oomph.”
That’s where fertilizer comes in.
It can supercharge your flowers and vegetable plants by providing them with nutrients, such as nitrogen, that might be lacking in the soil.
With the addition of fertilizer, your plants can grow to their full potential and become as fruitful as they were meant to be.
Similarly, our prayers sometimes need more oomph, too.
But how do we give them that? How do we go about supercharging our prayers?
One of the things I love about antiques is that they usually have a story to tell.
The type of wood and the style used to make a piece of furniture can tell you where and when it was made. Marks on the bottom of pottery give you a clue to its origins, and perhaps even the name of the artist who fashioned it. The condition of a piece tells you what sort of life it’s had.
But occasionally antiques tell us something a bit deeper than that.
For instance, I recently bought an antique oak side chair dating from the mid-1800s. It’s nothing impressive, simply the type of armless chair you might have at your dining room table.
The tale it tells is rather moving, however.
I can tell from the dozens of drilled holes around the perimeter of the seat frame that it once had a cane or rush seat. The material must have broken decades ago, because a plywood seat was later installed. Even this seat has been upholstered twice since.
One of the chair’s bottom rails broke at some point and is being held together with a tiny makeshift splint. Several of the back splats fractured as well, and were replaced with ones made from a different type of wood. There’s also evidence of repairs to wobbly joints over the decades.
What does all this tell me?
That someone never gave up on this little chair.
With all its woes and breakages, they could have simply thrown it out. But they loved it so much that they thought it was worth repairing, and they did so, over and over again.
Do you know that God feels the same way about you?
He’ll never give up on you!
Do you ever feel a bit shaky when you’re “up at bat” in life?
Sometimes we face daunting challenges, and don’t feel we’re capable of facing them on our own. We feel like we need a bit of help, someone who can take over for us when we’re at our weakest.
Someone like a pinch hitter.
In baseball, a pinch hitter acts as substitute who bats for a teammate. The pinch hitter might step in because the original player is injured, or when the one next up at bat is a less effective hitter, such as when a pitcher is worn out after six or seven innings pitching.
The manager might decide that the substitute has a better chance of helping their team to score, or may send in the pinch hitter to execute a specific play. In many cases, the pinch hitter will be called upon at a critical moment in the game.
Sounds like a handy person to have around, doesn’t it?
Did you know that believers have a heavenly “pinch hitter”?
This teammate who comes to your aid is the Holy Spirit Himself.