I shop at the nearby supermarket, and sometimes, I have a quick gander at what they have in their garden department. Recently, I saw some plants that were looking all dried out and lifeless. So, because they were reduced in price, I thought that I could buy a few, plant them out in compost in the garden, feed and water them, and see what might happen, if anything.
Weeks later, they have now nearly all grown, have regained some of their previous stature and vitality, and have developed some flowers.
Whilst in my garden admiring an urn full of those forlorn plants all in flower, what caught my attention was not that they had managed to develop some blossoms, which was my intention for them. No, what caught my attention was, alongside all the new growth, on their stems and leaves, they exhibited the scars of their previous history from when they were left out in the sunshine, soon to be discarded if not rescued. It reminded me of this passage:
“And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”(Luke 13:8-9 ESV)
Here, Jesus was indicating that it is never too late for a person to come into the kingdom of God to find Jesus, the One in the craft of feeding, nurturing, and saving. For those who find salvation, it is also never too late to show the way for the ones whom we love, and/or the ones to whom Jesus leads us today, to support, encourage, and possibly drag along into their own salvation opportunity of grace. Ultimately, Jesus decides who gets cut down and who makes the grade.
Whilst on our journey with Jesus, it is our calling, by example, witness, and privilege, to encourage others as we are led, to follow along the kingdom pathway with us. By our actions, words, and lives, we model for those who follow afterwards what being fed by Jesus looks like for us, good or bad. We, too, can become His gardeners, rescuing the lost and discarded for Jesus as He feeds and waters, even as He has done for us.
Sometimes, gardening is hard work, and nurturing requires some unpleasant experiences to grow through. Nevertheless, even the angels in heaven rejoice for everyone who gains the revelation of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and His grace to see the light. We are encouraged as they, too, are able to bear fruit and flower for the name of Jesus. What a mystery and a wonder!
Prayer: Lord, we come to You because You first came to us, often at our lowest ebb, to set us free to find peace, purpose, and sanctuary. We give You all the glory, praise, honour, and thanks as we worship Jesus our Saviour. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Rod Marshall <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission