Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Suffering through many storms, accidents, and illnesses of life, my friend's twenty-year-old Joseph's Coat rose bush presented itself beaten down by life. It no longer bore the fruit of its purpose. With precision, my friend's husband performed plant deliverance. With an arborist's skill, he pruned, cultivated, fed, and watered the aging bush. After a few years of tending, the bush became healthy and began to produce its variegated pink and yellow blossoms again.
Christians are much the same. For many reasons, we may become spiritually malnourished and weakened in our faith. We begin to wither, so we aren't producing abundant fruit of the Spirit. We wonder why we aren't seeing answers to prayer, or there is no joy in our service to others. When that happens, we are reminded of the need to get back into God's Word, to confess our sins, and to pray for restoration. The beauty of renewal is that God, like the arborist, will prune, cultivate, feed, and water us through His Word until we are spiritually healthy and thriving again.
Through prayer, God can turn the withering Christian back into a healthy one. As the sunshine appears in the sky each morning, we rediscover His purpose, and once again begin to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Oh, joy! We can be productive again at any age. To practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, powered by Jesus, is answered prayer. Perhaps, we scale back, but our spiritual energy flows, and our purpose is restored.
Prayer: Dear Lord, renew our zeal for You, and draw us into close fellowship. What comfort it is to know that You will restore us to Your loving service! What confidence in You it is to know that, like the rose, we can bloom again with purpose in old age!
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Listen while you read: "In The Garden" (Lyrics)