Luke 13:8-9 – "Sir," the man replied, "leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down." (NIV)
An hibiscus tree has sat in a pot on my patio for several years. Last year, it did not bloom. It had become pot-bound, out of shape, and scraggly — really an eyesore. I had fond memories of this tree from the days it had been healthy and productive. This spring, I bought a larger pot, a bag of fertilizer, and some potting soil. After re-potting and fertilizing, I gave it a severe pruning.
A miracle seems to be taking place. New life came out from the pruned limbs. Invigorated by the new soil and nutrients, it began to grow into a beautifully-shaped tree. Buds appeared. For the past three months, there have been saucer-sized blooms on this plant every day.
All it needed was a little help from me. It could not change its pot or its soil or add needed nutrients, but I could.
Every day, I look at the lovely pink blooms on my hibiscus tree and think about its transformation. How many people around us are like that plant — needing help from us to improve their circumstances?
There are times when people have needs that cannot be handled by themselves alone. They need the help of others to get started on a new lifestyle or in a new direction.
Is there someone we know who needs our help to start a new life and bloom again? We all need the help of others in our lives to survive and do our best.
Prayer: Lord, open our eyes that we may see the needs of others around us. Alert us to help those who cannot help themselves. Amen.