A few weeks back, Elijah was given a cup in primary which he filled with dirt and planted 2 small sunflower seeds, Following church this day, the cup was given to me and we told Elijah that we would water it and wait for it to grow. After about 1 hour Elijah came running back to the cup looking for the plant. It had not grown yet. This surprised him. I told him that plants need water, sunshine, soil, and time to grow. We cannot expect this little seed to burst through the soil after merely a few hours/minutes. I told him that we would continue to take care of it and eventually it would grow. A few days passed and before we knew it the plant had grown tall. So tall in fact that it was beginning to lean to one side (in search of the sun) so we put it outside.
Then there was a big windstorm...
The cup was knocked to the ground. The plant was torn from the cup and left to die. Unfortunately as this was happening, my family and I went out of town so we did not discover the plant for a couple of days following the windstorm. Elijah saw it first. He called to me and showed me what had happened. I quickly picked up the plant (which was limp and obviously dying/dead) put it back in the cup, added new soil and water and prepared Elijah for the worst. I told him that we would try everything that we could to help the plant get better but that it was probably not going to make it. Sometimes plants die. The poor little plants were hanging lifelessly over the sides of the cup--I thought it was too late. This plant could not weather the storm, it was just to small and lacked the support it needed to grow.
To my surprise, after a little TLC and some time, the plants started to perk up. After about 1 hour the stem of the plants had gone from withered to "fattening" but the leaves still appeared dead. After about 3 hours the leaves began to take their regular shape. After 4 hours the plant once again stood tall, leaves plump and in tact, once again leaning in search of the sun. This time, Elijah and I quickly grabbed some small sticks, placed them in the dirt near the base of the plant and attached the plants carefully to the sticks. This was to act as a support system for the plants. It would help them to gorw up straight and tall,
It may seem silly that I am recounting this story. But what a huge effect it has had on me. How often do we feel that we cannot weather the storm? Have you ever been thrown around by external conditions and left to "die" feeling only that you are too small? Not ready? Unprepared?
Just like this plant, we too can be saved. It is never too late. Given a little TLC and some time we can once again grow strong in search of the sun. This time, we know better. This time, we will grasp at a support system to help us to stand tall and grow upright.
This plant was intended as a lesson on testimonies/faith in God. I have always enjoyed the section in the Book of Mormon that relates our Faith to a small seed. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/32 . Never before has this lesson had such a huge impact on my heart. I feel so strongly now that once our faith has begun to grow--it may be knocked down not because it was a bad seed (because, remember it had begun to grow strong) but because of external forces. But it is never too late. We can be saved.