I received a plant several years ago after a relative’s funeral. I have been nurturing it for the last few years. This winter I am not sure what happened. I brought it in for the winter and set it down. In the busyness of my life, I didn’t nurture like I had been. One day, I looked at it and it was pretty sad. Some of the leaves were falling to the ground and the other leaves were turning brown. It was knocking on death’s door. I picked off the leaves that were brown and cut it back to where you barely saw any green. I was bound and determined I was going to save this plant. My husband wasn’t as hopeful. I watered it for the first time in months. Now I know memories don’t lie in a plant. It’s just a plant, but like my relative, I was not ready for this plant to die. I began nurturing the plant again. After a few weeks, I looked at the plant and it was coming back to life. The roots of the plant began to grow new stems and life was returning to this plant. It was green and vibrant. I am more than a little excited.
As I thought about this, I realized that it’s the same way with our faith. Once we accept Christ, we have to nurture our faith. Just like the plant needed water and the right lighting, we need those same things in our faith.
In the story of the woman at the well, we know Jesus offers her living water. He says to her in John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” We know Jesus is the source of living water. If our faith is to be nurtured and kept alive, we must believe in and follow Jesus.
Sunlight is so important to some plants. We need light in our lives as well. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 Reading the word daily provides us with the light that need. We need that nurturing, daily word to guide us in the way we live and the direction we take.
I have heard, strangely enough, that there are people who sing or talk to their plants. Now, I am pretty sure my plant does not want to hear me sing. But, singing praises to God will certainly help our faith to grow and be stronger. I have found in my own life, as I sing praises and listen to praise music, my faith grows stronger in so many ways. Psalm 95:1 says this, “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”
Praying to God and talking with God on a daily basis will most likely nurture our faith and keep it alive and vibrant. Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Just as some people think it’s important to speak to their plant, it is vital that we speak to God on a daily basis to keep our faith from dying.
I was doing all the right things in the beginning, but after awhile, I began to be less nurturing to my plant. I began to lose focus on what my plant really needed. If we don’t stay focused and do the things we need to do, our faith will surely die out. “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet!” Philippians 3:15 The Message
If I had listened to my husband, I would have discarded the plant. Sometimes in this world, we get caught up and find our faith wavering or not as it should be. We can beat ourselves up and say, “what’s the point?” Or we can begin the process of nurturing our faith once more. It would have been easy for me to throw out the plant. Instead, I invested time and energy and brought the plant back to life. Your faith is worth saving. All it takes is a little investment, time and energy. You can listen to the world who loves to tell us,”it’s too late for you, it’s not worth saving!” Or we can listen to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one that says, “You are worth it. Go for it! Stay focused. You CAN do this.”
It’s our choice. I had a choice to discard the plant or I could choose to keep it, nurture it once more and bring it back to life. That is what God calls us to do. Come to him and allow him to nurture you back to life. Through His word, His Son and His Spirit we can once again have that vibrant faith we had before or maybe one that is even better than before.
Are you discarding a faith that once was vibrant and full of life? Or are you willing to nurture it back to a life filled with the hope of all that God has promised for us?
My plant is a vibrant green and growing. My prayer is that your faith is vibrant and growing as we journey to the Cross during Lent.
Dear God, I know my family member is not in the plant. It doesn’t even hold memories of that person. But, you know Lord just like I wasn’t ready to lose this person I was not ready to lose this plant. Thank you for letting this be a teaching moment. As I nurture the plant back to life, remind me daily to nurture my faith so it can be vibrant and full of life. Let me stay focused on what matters. Remind me that just like this plant needed water, and the right light and even praises so do my faith. Remind me to water my faith with your words, that I follow the One true light and I sing praises daily of what you are doing in my life. Amen.