This evening, I sat and stared, for a moment, at the roses that my husband got me for our 11th anniversary last Saturday. For a few days after he gave them to me, they were so vibrant and beautiful and fragrant. As they sat on my table longer, I took less notice of them, and then we went away for two days. We came home today, and I realized that they have all wilted quite badly. Unaware of today’s date, I quickly checked the calendar and realized that our anniversary was only a week ago. The roses lasted one week.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
I really appreciate when the Holy Spirit pops a verse into my head. When He does this, I know that he wants to teach me something. Sometimes I slow down long enough to allow him to teach, and other times I blow off his invitations. Tonight I slowed down.
(Confession: I rarely know where a verse comes from or even the exact words of the verse, but the Holy Spirit fills my mind with a portion of the verse or a version of it that is close enough that I can find it. Then, I check www.biblegateway.com in order to figure out where it is found and to search and see if there is more that God wants me to glean from the nugget of truth he has set in my brain.)
This evening, I did not run to Biblegateway. Instead, I sat with the words, “the flower fades, but the word of God lasts forever” as I looked at my wilted roses.
The Word of God lasts forever. My roses lasted one week, but God’s word was made to last forever – through all seasons, throughout all generations.
Cut flowers die because they are no longer attached to their roots. Without roots, they have no ability to draw new nutrients and life into the flower. The capillaries that carried the water and nutrients up into the flower slowly begin to collapse, and the flower wilts and falls.
Flowers and the grass of the field still have their roots, but as the seasons change, the temperatures get cooler and the sunlight wanes. They can not withstand the harsh realities of a changing season, and they, too, fall.
The flowers fall, but the word of our God lasts forever.
The beauty that God’s Word brings, endures forever. The Life that His Word brings, lives forever. God’s Word holds on stubbornly inside of us, not allowing a change of season nor harsh conditions to damage the “plant” it supports.
God’s word is a never-ending flow of life and goodness to us, his “plants.” His Living Water continually flows through us, rejuvenating and purifying as He grows and matures us through every season and every circumstance. It is the Word of God that sustains us and pulls us through any situation that life throws at us.
As you read God’s Word, you can see that, in many ways, we are like God’s plants. But we are not just any plant. We are special plants. If we are not planted in a location in which we will thrive, he carefully digs us up and plants us elsewhere. Acts 17:24-28 says that he chose the exact places that we would live so that we would reach out for him and be used by him. John 15:16 says that God chose us to bear “fruit” that will, like his Word, last forever.
I am convinced that very few of us recognize what a powerful, valuable, and completely necessary resource we have: The Word of God (the Bible). How many of us have substituted digging into the Bible for reading other books or articles or blogs (yes, I would rather you read the Bible than my blog, but I hope you can do both!)
I am beginning to realize how desperately I need His Word. Now hear me, I have been a believer (follower of Jesus) for many years; however, as I have seen how dramatically this “plant” changes once it has been touched by the Living Water, I am beginning to crave it more and more.
There are always several things pulling at us, trying to keep us from the Living Water, which is the Word of God. We have to intentionally plunk ourselves down in front of the Water and drink deeply.
As we learn to navigate the waters of the Word, we will face challenges. Some parts of the Bible are just plain difficult to understand or even a little boring…like Leviticus (sorry, God). However, I am a firm believer that nothing of true value comes easily. When we are willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears, we will have something valuable and useful to show for it in the end. We do not navigate alone. We have the Holy Spirit to counsel us and teach along the way.
If we never spend time reading it, how can the Holy Spirit use it? C.S. Lewis said something along the lines of: “we rarely need to be taught, just often reminded.” If we have not spent much time soaking up His Word, the Holy Spirit will have nothing to “remind” us of. He will be limited to trying to speak the truth to us, having it fall on ears who have never heard it and may not recognize it.
His Word is Truth. His Word is Life. His Word is Eternal. Period.
How are you feeling today? Are you a bit dehydrated? A bit wilted? Jump in and drink deeply. Let his Life flow through you and clean you and nourish you, that you may be strong and healthy and able to weather any storm. It does not matter how strong you feel to begin with. His Word is able to revive you and strengthen you.
Did you know that a cut rose can become its own new plant by shoving it into a potato and planting that potato into the ground? (I just learned this through a Facebook post.) Apparently the potato serves as a life source until the rose is able to grow some new roots. So call it Living Water or call it a Potato, the Bible is our life source. Let’s plant ourselves deeply and firmly into that Life Source that we may establish healthy, strong roots.