Friday, July 20, 2012

A Well-Watered Garden

We all know people who have a green thumb and can make anything grow. I’m not one of those people. I kill plants! Well actually I forget to water them. Even when they are right in front of me.

After being on staff at LifeBridge Christian Church for several years, I took the position of Hospitality Director. The lady I replaced was very kind and she presented me with a beautiful red flowering plant in a white pot. The colors were perfect, but it was a live plant. That needed to be watered.

I was so determined to make this one live. The gift giver had put so much thought into the gift. So I watered it. And remembered to water it. It received plenty of sunshine in our bright office, but it didn’t thrive.

My daughter looked at it one day and said, “Mom! There’s mold on it. You’ve over watered it!” Hmm. Overwatered? “It’s a succulent,” she continued, “it doesn’t need as much water, so you need to check the soil…” and by this point she had lost me.

The book of Isaiah was written during a stormy period in Israel’s history. Israel was under Assyian rule and Isaiah wrote messages from God to this this nation.

In Isaiah 1:30b (NIV), Israel is described as “…a garden without water.” They were a rebellious nation and had suffered. They were being punished for their rebellion.

But Isaiah continued to give Israel hope throughout the book and in Isaiah 58:11b (NIV) he assures them, “…you will be like a well-watered garden...”

Yes, if Israel was willing to put their rebellion behind them, if they were willing to stop the blaming and gossiping, if they were willing to give to those in need, if they did as God asked them, God would rescue them.

If Israel allowed God to lead them, they could once again be great. A great light would shine from Israel. Their broken lives could be repaired. Their ruined spirits could be restored. Through the Repairer and Restorer. God.

We have the choice to be one of these two gardens. If we are rebellious against God, then we can expect to be a garden without water. If we are obedient to God, then we can expect to be a well-watered garden.

Isaiah also spoke of the coming Messiah throughout this Messianic prophetic book. We know this Messiah to be Jesus. Jesus, the Living Water. “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him like a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 – NIV)

Through Jesus we have the opportunity to be a well-watered garden, with abundant life.

Plants and gardens are green when water is present. We too can be green (spiritually healthy) when Jesus is present in our lives and when we seek out the watering holes.

The watering holes of prayer, Bible study, Bible reading, fellowship with other Christians, worship, and serving others. By continually visiting these watering holes, we will always be green and will have the Lord to guide us in all we say and do.

In retrospect, my plants have died because I didn’t think they needed anything from me in order to survive. Israel ended up under Assyrian rule because they didn’t think they needed anything from God. How wrong we both were.

Under my daughter’s care, the plant did pretty well through those summer months…then she went back to college. Eventually, the plant died and the only thing remaining was the white pot.

I’m so thankful that I am much better at tending to my spiritual life. I’m thankful that my relationship with Jesus showers Living Water upon me. I’m thankful that the “spiritual gardener” within me has a green thumb.

How are you doing with this? Are you green (spiritually)? Does the grass (your spiritual life) crunch under the footsteps of your day-to-day life? Are you parched? Are you feeling the drought of separation from God and His people?

There is an easy fix. A relationship with Jesus Christ in which you can have Living Water. And through the Living Water you will be bubbling with abundant life. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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