At home, I have quite a large collection of indoor and outdoor plants. I thank my grandpa, Brother Russ Martorana, for my green thumb. The indoor ferns help to clean the indoor air, and the outdoor plants are great for harvesting (herbs, tomatoes, basil) and provide overall plant therapy!
The week before GMBA camp, the temperature at home had been climbing into the triple digits during the daytime, and I was watering my plants daily to keep them from getting burned or dried out.
Now, this may seem a bit trivial, but I’ve been nurturing some of them for four years, and I was pretty concerned about them dying when I went to camp. Plants need plenty of water; in 100-degree temperatures they can die in less than a day sometimes.
When I was young, I remember helping my grandpa plant seeds in his garden. We would dig a big hole, clean out the rocks and hard gravel, put in new soil, drop in some seeds, water them, and pray. Yes, pray. After he planted, Brother Russ would say a prayer over the plants and even post a small piece of paper by them that said “God’s plants: prayed for (date).” He would send me pictures of the plants all year as they grew next to their sign to show me the progress. And when I would visit in the summer, he would take me out to his garden and say with a huge smile, “Look at what God did this year, Erin! Wow-ey!”
Talk about praying over your flocks and fields! So, the night before I left for camp this year, I decided to say a small prayer for my plants, half-expecting to return home after six days to scraggly brown stems and burnt leaves.
I drove home Thursday night after the last meeting but was too tired to check my plants before bed. At 6 a.m. on Friday morning, I jolted awake, realizing I had let my plants go another night without water. I ran out to my patio to check my outdoor plants first. “Hmm, that’s odd. The soil is wet … did it rain?” No rain overnight.
Not realizing it yet, I ran back inside to check my indoor plants. Wouldn’t you know, all the soil was still wet as if I had watered it a few hours earlier. I had not watered my plants in seven days, but God had kept my plants healthy and watered in 100-degree weather. Not only that, but my tomato plant was flowering and my rosemary grew a huge new branch in only one week. What a miracle. And, of course, I felt as if I could hear God looking at me with a chuckle, “Don’t you know I care for you?”
Alma 34:20 says, “Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.”
I don’t have any flocks or any fields. I just have a few dozen plants in some pots around my home. But that scripture means a bit more today. Cry unto Him … for the things you care about, for what you want to prosper. Cry unto Him … to bless your livelihood, your career, your home. Cry unto Him … for the little things. There is nothing too small for God to handle. Cry unto Him … for the things you think don’t matter, like forty dollars worth of potted plants that can be easily replaced at Home Depot on any given day. What I’m beginning to realize is this: if it matters to me, it matters to God, too.
I don’t think I would have prayed for my plants had I not watched my grandpa pray for his garden all those years before. What else can I pray for in my life that might not seem so big but could really use God’s protection? Every time I move jobs or get a new office, Dad’s quick to come offer a prayer over my “flocks and fields.” What are the flocks and fields in your life? Perhaps it’s your children, or your aging parents, a new job, or lack thereof? Perhaps it’s a work trip? A doctor’s visit, or a test at school? Whatever it is, God is ready to share His blessings.
Just as it was preached at camp, God loves to give His children the best that He has. And I can still hear Grandpa saying one of his favorite phrases, “You can’t outgive the Lord.”
Isaiah 55:6-7 says, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” And since we have the Holy Spirit inside of us, we should always rejoice knowing that God is always near and ready to hear our prayers.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.