Rev. Dana Porter Ashton
Don't Be Fooled
A few years ago, my job purchased a couple of plants that looked like palm trees. We placed one in the front lobby and one in my office. The one in the lobby is doing very well, but I noticed that the one in my office was looking a little “peaked” around the leaves. Each day I came in, I noticed the leaves on the tall tree were starting to brown. Of course I was watering it and even placed it by a window. Last week, I grabbed one of the branches to try and see what was going on and to my surprise, the branch gave way as though it was hollow! What in the world? I knew it looked sad, but geez, I didn’t know it was going to crumble. Knowing I had to make a decision, I asked our cleaning guy to trash it because it was over.
When he pulled the plant up out of the soil and bent the branches to carry it a little easier, I noticed two things.
1. The inside of the branches had some sort of mold or “infection” which appears to have caused the plant to die from the inside out. Go ahead and shout right there. You know what I’m talking about. We go through the same thing when we hold in and harbor negative vibes (thoughts and feelings) and we find ourselves self-destructing. We find ourselves broken and shattered on the inside, but looking like we’re fine on the outside. Don’t be fooled. God loves you too much to let you “keep the mask on” and will send someone to help you through. Refuse to remain hollow and do what you need to do so you can minister healthy.
2. The second thing I noticed is that when he pulled the plant out of the dirt, there were no real roots! That thing was fooling me all this time and I thought the roots were deep. Not so. I was really just wetting the potting soil because the roots were so short, there was no way it was absorbing what was needed. Maybe that’s how the infection got in. When our faith is not deeply rooted in Christ, it’s easy for the enemy to infiltrate our lives and make us believe we’re fine when in fact we aren’t. When our faith is not deeply rooted in Christ, it’s easy to believe the negative things our haters say, the ugly looks we receive because we’re trying to do better with our lives.
When he saw that the plant had no roots, he shook the soil off of it, looked at me and said, “It’s over” and at that moment, I heard God say, “Don’t be fooled. It’s never over for those who belong to Me”. Listen! Shake the dirt off, find yourself another place to settle your spirit, dig your roots deep, and keep on growing. Don’t be fooled, like my friend Maurette Brown Clark sang, “It ain’t over until God says it’s over. Keep fighting until your victory is won”.