The extreme heat of late August took its toll. Air conditioners ran non-stop. Crowds were down at the State Fair. Football and soccer games were canceled. And my little patch of landscaping withered.
I don’t do a lot of work in the yard. This year I invested in a little 3 ft. x 6 ft. plot adjacent to our front porch. I wanted it to look nice for my son’s graduation party. The main thing was cleaning up what was already there. I added just one thing: a variegated Hosta that I transplanted from another corner of the yard. It was perfect in its new home! Beautiful in and of itself but also making the plants around it look nicer.
At first I was diligent in my watering. I faithfully attended that Hosta. And it flourished.
But the summer wore on. Many cares and distractions filled my days. Eventually I stopped watering altogether.
Then the extreme heat came. My wife first noticed the plants. They were all suffering – especially that Hosta. The leaves were mostly brown and burnt up and drooping on the ground.
That very moment I watered my little plot, with special attention to the Hosta. The next morning I was overjoyed to see it springing back to life.
Sometimes I treat my life in Christ the way I treated that Hosta. For a season I am diligent, attentive to the things that keep me close to the Lord. Then many cares and distractions come along. I forget the basic things that sustain my spiritual life, that keep me from withering. Perhaps you can relate.
The good news is that “the Lord longs to be gracious” (Isaiah 30:18, NIV). With the simplest, disciplined actions our walk with Jesus can spring back to life.
At Hope Church we are seeking Jesus anew – through prayer, fasting, study, service, and other Christian disciplines. That’s just what I need.