Plantlife takes a risk

Plantlife, the wild flower conservation charity, runs a programme called ‘Back from the Brink’.  As you might imagine, this is concerned with attempting to halt and hopefully reverse the decline of particular wild flowers.  One such plant is marsh clubmoss which has disappeared from most of the UK and is now largely confined to areas of Dorset and Hampshire.  Recently the conservation team working in Dorset decided to take drastic action.  They drove a five tonne tractor, fitted with a ‘muck grab for maximum disturbance’, backwards and forwards over a colony of 3,000 tiny clubmoss plants.  To their delight – and probably relief – their actions have resulted in a thriving colony of 12,000 plants.

This reminded me of God’s teaching about threshing: For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor a cartwheel rolled over the cummin; but the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, and the cummin with a rod.  Bread flour must be ground; therefore he does not thresh it forever, break it with his cartwheel, or crush it with his horsemen.  This also comes from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.  (Isaiah 28:27-29)

Sometimes we may feel flattened by the times that go over us.  Plantlife’s tractor crushed everything under it indiscriminately, but God’s threshing is never like that.  Just as each seed needed to be threshed differently, so God’s dealings with us – His chastening, His discipline, His hard providences – are always perfectly suited to us as individuals.  His aim is always for our separation from the chaff of our sin and ungodliness, for our increase in holiness, for the deepening of our Christian character.  In short, that we should become more like the Lord Jesus.  In His infinite wisdom, kindness and patience, God works in each one of us so that we may live to please Him more and more.

The Plantlife team admitted that they ‘took a risk’.  Our heavenly Father never needs to do such a thing!

God shall alone the refuge be

And comfort of my mind;

Too wise to be mistaken He,

Too good to be unkind.


In all His holy sovereign will,

He is, I daily find,

Too wise to be mistaken, still,

Too good to be unkind.


When I the tempter’s rage endure,

‘Tis God supports my mind;

Too wise to be mistaken, sure,

Too good to be unkind.


When sore afflictions on me lie,

He is (though I am blind),

Too wise to be mistaken, yea,

Too good to be unkind.


What though I can’t His goings see,

Nor all His footsteps find?

Too wise to be mistaken, He,

Too good to be unkind.


Hereafter He will make me know,

And I shall surely find,

He was too wise to err, and oh,

Too good to be unkind.

                             Samuel Medley

 As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

                                                                                                Psalm 18:30