Last summer we went away for 10 days and our entire lawn died a horrible brown death. It looked SO bad that I was embarrassed for my neighbors to see it during our Christmas open house.
So when my grandparents left me all their houseplants to tend to during the summer while they were in their second home in Boston, I warned them. "You don't really expect these to be alive when you return in October, do you?" A small azalea I had given them for Mother's Day was still beautifully in bloom. Even a poinsettia from Christmas was still blooming. I figured I could handle the cactus.
When Nathan came home with a decorated pot holding soil and some seeds I kind of laughed. But he kept close watch on it and watered it regularly till it did indeed sprout something.
It was looking pretty good...till we left for this vacation.
I had already killed and tossed the poinsettia. The azalea blooms had dropped off but it still had a few leaves. I gave everything a good soaking the morning we left, but I knew what would happen. Nathan's plant bit the dust, there was no saving that poor thing.
My favorite lush green plant on loan from my grandparents was nothing but a mess of shriveled brown leaves. But I knew that under all that brown, there was life that could be tended to and revived. I pulled all the brown dried up leaves off and watered and watered.
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Even when we are withered and appear dead, if we are in Jesus there is life and the Gardener knows it. With time in the Word and worship and prayer we can be revived and bear much fruit for His glory.