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“Planted and buried look the same. The way you can tell the difference is by what happens next.” Pastor JP Miller

Last September, Pastor JP preached a sermon series titled Tests, Trials, and Tribulations. By Tuesday of the week he preached “Planted or Buried?”, I listened to the message at least three more times.  

I needed to hear the solution again and again before I believed and applied it. He didn’t say “try really hard” to get out from under the dirt – use force, fight my way out, kick and scream until someone hears and helps. He did, however, mention my attitude. 

He also said God began His day in the dark on purpose in Genesis 1:5 “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” If He began it in the light, it’d take no faith.

Then Pastor JP offered three biblical solutions to being buried alive … 

  • Attitude matters and so do the people with whom we surround ourselves. Lame people can’t help lame people, addicted people can’t help addicted people, and negative people can’t help addicted people. He said, “The soil (the people) around us determines what we grow into.”
  • Anticipation matters. Believe for a miracle, not because of what we can do, but because of who Jesus is and how God meets us at our level of expectancy. He said the whole world might say we’re dead, but God can raise that dream, that desire, that relationship.
  • Action matters, not trying hard, so get up and do something. Do anything. Do one thing. The four lepers in 2 Kings 7 in the Bible got up from where they were surely going to die and walked toward a place where they might die, but at least had a little hope. Because of their decision, God saved them.   

I read a similar story in Streams In The Desert by L. B. Cowman. The book is filled with 366 devotional readings to encourage and inspire especially during difficult times. October 11th’s reading tells about the author’s field of asters that died from an early frost. She called it “a graveyard of flowers” until spring when the field was fuller with flowers than before. That’s when she realized “for every one destroyed, fifty witnesses arose and said, ‘It is through dying … we live on (referencing 2 Corinthians 6:9).’”

Attitude, faith, and action determine whether we’re buried or planted. We get to choose. 

In This Together, 

FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.

I have something for you!


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