Succulent Lesson

The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word “sucus” meaning juice or sap. Succulent is another word or term for plants that store water for long periods of time in their thick leaves and stems. They typically originate from dry, rough surroundings and most produce a thick juice or sap that can be applied to skin to protect against sunburn, including the well-known Aloe Vera.

Succulent plants caught my attention because of their beauty and tenacity all the while confusing them with cacti. But my confusion was cured when I did some research and found out that cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Just in case you’re wondering, cactus is the singular form for cacti or cactuses and the thorns in the cacti is what differentiates them from the succulents. To make it simpler, what makes a cactus a cactus is basically its thorns. Cacti are just one specific variety of succulents.

According to feng shui in Asian culture, succulents represent prosperity because of their ability to hold great amounts of water. And water in feng shui is a symbol of wealth and so they are a sign of good financial fortunes. On the other hand, among the Westerners, these plants epitomize enduring and timeless love for they can survive and flourish in the most difficult environment.

My curiosity about succulents was further aroused and I kept on reading to find new facts and information about them. One day I stumbled upon an article which stuck with me but the name of the writer totally escaped my memory. Still I will share it here because it was quite interesting.

The writer has no green thumb. That she is a plant-killer. But one summer she received a gift, a succulent plant. She took it home not hoping that it will still be alive after a couple of months. To her surprise it remained alive even if its existence completely slipped her mind a few times. And so she concluded that succulents must be the easiest plant on this planet earth to keep alive since she somehow did it. She decided to cut it up and create more succulents. Thinking, there is nothing wrong in multiplying her success. She did research and implemented everything she learned. She pulled the leaves off, then let them dry for a couple of days, bought the correct type of soil, and laid the leaves on top of it in a place that has sunlight. She watered them diligently every couple of days and waited. And again waited, and waited for a long time. A couple of months passed with no visible progress. So she decided that her efforts went in vain. The leaves did not change at all and thought she once again failed at growing plants. And so the story goes that some of her friends would be visiting her and thought it will look strange for them to see a bunch of leaves just sitting in cups on her windowsill. She relocated them in her bedroom for a few days thinking of throwing them away soon. The D-Day came, as she picked up the plants to take them into their sad fate (that of being discarded), she noticed something – ROOTS! The plants have grown roots. After months of waiting and watering and letting in the sunshine in her kitchen window so the plants could sunbathe, progress came. Finally good results arrived.

I would like to say that life can be compared to these author’s anecdote regarding this succulents. We go through seasons where we are hoping, waiting, watering, putting dreams where they can soak up the sunshine, giving them our tender loving care, and then see nothing happens. No progress, feeling stuck but still hoping that one day our dreams will sprout somehow. I believe that this is the essence of life, of faith: believing that God will stand and deliver and make things happen even in seemingly hopeless situation. And even when we can’t see any progress at all, we keep on plugging away and we keep on pushing. P-U-S-H as in praying until something happens. Keep on watering and opening up the windows for the sun ( the Son of God – Jesus Christ ), to light our dreams, plans and goals so they will have progress and come to fruition. To not let our dreams and hopes shrivel up like a forgotten plant that has not been watered for a long time.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” – Hebrews 11:1. When there are things, dreams, hopes or plans that God has put in our hearts that we have not seen manifested in our lives yet, we do not lose hope. Instead, we keep on waiting and persevering even if it looks hopeless on the outside. We have to keep on keeping on. Relentlessly praying, waiting, watering and letting the sunshine of God’s faithfulness flood our desires, hopes and dreams. One of these days they will grow roots and thrive! Let’s hold on to these verse from Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Keep calm and enjoy the season of waiting for the harvest is near. ☀️

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