Life is pretty amazing, isn’t it?
For example, take my Lord Baltimore Hibiscus. When I bought it in the spring of 2012, it was just a 3” high stick in a pot. It didn’t look like much. Jennie even asked me why I bought a dead stick in a pot. They told me at the nursery to give it time and consistent water and it would grow when it got hot.
Well, it got hot and we kept it watered and it grew and bloomed and was beautiful. And then when the winter came, it died. This hardy-type of hibiscus is supposed to last through a mild winter and there aren’t many winters more mild than here in San Antonio. So, I did the only thing I could…I cut it to the ground, watered and waited.
At the bottom of the left photo, you can see a stump, that is where I cut it down. In the same picture you see the new growth that finally began to erupt in late spring. On the right, you can see the same plant as it looked in early July. It is beautiful; already taller than last summer and putting out more blooms this year.
We thought the plant was dead — two different times. Yet, life was still there. We kindled it with patience, pruning, and water. God delivered the miracle of life.
Have you been to a point of complete despair? I have — both for myself and others I love. It is so hard to be patient and wait. It is hard to be gentle. It is hard to prune things that need to go (some of those things are good and some are not). It is hard to continue to water. But, God is faithful. He will provide beautiful life.
What does it take to get that beautiful life back? The patience of consistent time with God in prayer, Scripture, and community no matter how you feel (Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 119:11, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Consistent watering of humbly serving others in Jesus’ name (Philippians 2:3-5). And trusting God to provide a miracle (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).