I am not a gardener. My thumb is closer to brown than green, and the plants at Home Depot have been known to pull away when I reach out for them… So I don’t always know when is the time to uproot, or even to prune a plant. Only when a plant dies do I know it’s time to uproot. (Master of the Obvious, aren’t I?) Or I might decide I don’t like a plant, and I want to plant something else, and so I decide it’s time to uproot.
But often, the time to uproot is for reasons that are hidden. My father had a group of pine trees in his backyard that contracted a disease. The only way to stop this disease from spreading is to uproot the tree. A tree with the disease cannot be saved. And if he had known that, he might have lost only one. But he didn’t know it was time to uproot that tree, and consequently, the whole group of trees died.
Or there was the time my sweetie and I came home from dinner out, to discover a small flood in both bathrooms. The culprit, we discovered later, was pipes that had stopped up due to tree roots. We had not known it was past time to uproot that tree.
But am I just wishing I was a better gardener? Or am I praying about how to apply this verse in other areas of my life? It’s an important prayer, to ask God for the wisdom to know when He would have us remove something from our lives; or even remove ourselves from a given situation.
Proper understanding of this verse is not just an acknowledgement of there is a time to plant and a time to uproot, but a plea for the wisdom to know the difference.