I have some container plants on our front porch. They need routine watering, of course, but definitely need plenty of water during our very hot Kansas summer. A few weeks ago, I was guilty of neglecting those plants for longer than I should have. You know how it is. I just got busy with many other things. I would remember the plants and tell myself I needed to check on them, but then once again I would forget to do so in the midst of running here and there.
I had noticed my pretty Impatiens in the corner drooping a little one day, so I gave myself a mental note to water the plants that evening. But I yet again got distracted and didn’t water them like I promised myself I would do.
When I finally went to check on the plants some time later, I was sad to see that my Impatiens was completely wilted. “Beyond wilted,” I thought. “This poor plant is dead……gone.”
I very nearly just tossed the pitiful thing in the trash can, but something made me stop. I decided to go ahead and water it. What could it possibly hurt? So I filled my watering can, gave all my plants a much needed drink, and waited to see the result.
The first time I looked at the dead Impatiens after being watered, it didn’t look any different. This just confirmed to me that it was beyond hope. But still I waited.
And wouldn’t you know, by the next day I was amazed at what I saw!!
My once dried up plant was now thriving once again! It had sprung to new life because of simply being watered. It soaked up what it needed once that life giving need was provided.
I have gone through times in my life where the bad news and the burdens are overwhelming. Sometimes it’s been hard to handle the stress, and so I have bowed low under the pressure.
It’s during these heated times in my life that I must not let myself neglect the one important element of what sustains me…..God. He knows my situation and has even planned my path for a purpose. But it sure is easy to become distracted from Him as I feel the weight of my fears and burdens. Someone else felt this way, too, and wrote about it beautifully in Psalm 42:
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.”
When we know God, it doesn’t mean we won’t suffer. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel despair. But knowing God does mean that we have hope. Hope in God is hope well placed. It’s a hope that brings us to praise…….praise for His help and His presence.
“The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.”
God loves us throughout each day and even gives us a song during the awful dark hours of the long nights. That song is our prayer as we lay in the stillness of night, when everything seems darker and bigger and more awful than in the light of day. Our prayer to God…..our deep groanings……our praise…..turn into a song, even when we don’t really hear a beautiful tune at that moment. But God hears and He is pleased, and He is the One Who turns our prayers into a song.
Just in the past few days I have a dear friend who found out that she has breast cancer. She will soon begin chemo and then face surgery. My brother-in-law went in for a heart cath and was told that he will need bypass surgery. A friend said goodbye to her wayward son as he moves very far away, and she feels she may not ever see him again. Another friend is watching her son’s seizures dangerously increase as she awaits a visit with their specialist in Memphis. I could keep going. It just seems like there is so much suffering and personal attack right now.
This past Monday I sat in a friend’s back yard, at her picnic table, and we along with another friend were sharing some of the ongoing situations that one friend especially is dealing with. This wonderful mother and wife, my sweet friend, suggested that we pray. She bowed her head and started speaking very comfortably with God. We all prayed, just as if God was sitting right there with us and we were including Him in our conversation……which is really the case. It was so sweet, and each of us was so encouraged in just the way that we needed.
Just like my wilted plant. We all felt like this at first –
But after praying, we were encouraged and refreshed…..just like my plant that finally received water.
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”
The more I wilt, the more I can count on God to give me just what I need as I hope in Him, praise Him, and rest in His arms. He will refresh me and He will revive me, even in the heat of the trials that I may be encountering.
He’s a good God and an amazing caregiver for us.
And He never forgets us when we need watering!