Some time ago I planted a flowering gum. I had purchased two but one died in the pot before I was able to replant it. The onset of hot weather, at the start of the Australian summer, was too much for the replanted tree and the leaves instead of a healthy green turned brown. Seemingly it had died too. I was disappointed. I’m not sure whether it was my disappointment but I delayed pulling it out.
One day I had the task of pulling it out on my list of gardening jobs. I collected the fork from the shed, stepped on the garden bed where I had planted the tree and was about to drive the fork into the ground at the root of the tree when, thankfully, I noticed tiny new buds appearing on the branches of the tree. I was pleasantly surprised. The tree had obviously taken root and, although the leaves had turned brown, it was alive. It had survived.
I never cease to be amazed by the resurrection story. Christ seemingly dead was alive!
Similarly, I am thrilled when the new life of God breaks through in a person’s life where seemingly it has been dead after a long season of dormancy.
Seemingly a mystery, but I shouldn’t be surprised when new life bursts forth. This new life is a gift of God and it has an inherent resilience. God nurtures it unceasingly and tenderly through life’s storms and seasons, and addresses any hindrances to its growth. His sole purpose is to bring it to it’s full maturity on the last day.
Charles Spurgeon writes,
“Suppose the believer sins? 1 John 2:1 declares, ‘If anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.’
Suppose a believer backslides? Hosea 14:4 declares, ‘I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.’
Suppose the believer falls under temptation! 1 Corinthians 10:13 declares, ‘No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’
Suppose the believer falls into sin as David did! Yes, God will, ‘Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow’, Psalm 57:7, and again in Jeremiah 33:8 God declares, ‘I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me.’
Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.