After the great flood of 2009 where most of our flowering plants perished, we try planting again this summer. About a month ago, we purchased petite rose plants of baby pink, dark pink, white, and deep-red color varieties. When they arrived in our house, they were blooming beautifully, and on that same day, we transferred them to terra cotta pots.
Within the week that they were transplanted, all of their blooms and even the new buds quickly withered until they all fell off. Some branches turned brown, and just by looking at them, one would think that they wouldn’t have a chance to live.
But what we did, we deadheaded all the withered blooms and branches, to help the plants bud anew. We also nourished them with rice washings everyday, and put complete fertilizer in the soil once every two weeks. We placed them in an area of the garden where they are not too exposed to the direct heat of the sun.
By these steps we took, I believed that they would flourish and bloom again.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when we saw the new branches budding again after barely three weeks. And now, they are blooming lovely petite rose “buttons” again.
It comes to my mind how our loving Father wants to nourish us so. How He wants us to flourish and bloom and bear fruits. He takes good care of us just to achieve this purpose. But we have to do our part.
He provided His Word for us to be nourished thereby, and we should feed on it everyday. We may fast on food and water, but never on the Word, for it is our daily Bread. It provides true nutrient from which our hungry and thirsty souls drink and feed upon, so that we may grow.
…man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. (Deut. 8: 3)
It is God’s Word that teaches us and guides us in all our ways. It warns us not to love the world and be entangled with its temptations and temporary pleasures, for these make us unfruitful in our walk towards the Kingdom (Mat. 13: 22).
God’s Word also tells us to endure afflictions and persecutions, for they would surely come. It warns us to be steadfast in our faith and not in any way be offended by the hardships that come our way (Mat. 13: 21).
Just like the plants that take root on good soil, spreading their roots all around and clasping hard at the earth for support and sustenance, so we are to be rooted and grounded in Christ’s love and Word. For only when we are kept fastened to the Vine can we grow and become fruitful.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some and hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mat. 13:23)
Just as the plants drink of the dew of heaven that comes down to it in the early morning, so we must drink of the tears of joy, gratitude and reverence to our wonderful, magnificent God, and even the tears of our deep sorrows, that flow freely in the Lord’s holy presence while we keep our knees bended before Him. These tears that water our souls and bring us spiritual growth that wouldn’t have been possible without those tribulations that we go through. As the early apostles exhorted that we must:
… continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14: 22)
Yes, there are seasons in our lives that God wants us to feed on those tears we shed. I believe it’s for our deeper learning, higher growth and fruitfulness. Therefore, it should not be something that would make us bitter, but instead, better Christians.
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure. (Psalm 80:5)
Indeed, it’s after the heaven’s downpour that the plants are revived and refreshed, and flourish all the more. So do the storms in our lives bring revival – a closer, more intimate walk with our Lord and Savior – and therefore, brings forth a more fruitful life.
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… (Gal. 5: 22, 23)
It is in the times of our deepest need for the Lord Jesus that we strive to be rooted deeper in Him.