Friday, 10 April 2015

God - the only life-giver {when things look dead}

I have been back out into my garden again.  For those who are relatively new to the blog, I LOVE my garden.  I used to think I didn't like gardening, but that was when I had no garden to work with!  Now?  I love it! I am no expert, and I don't spend every waking hour in there, but I love seeing colour appear, and the satisfaction of encouraging life into my little corner of God's creation.

Another thing you will quickly observe, is how my garden is God's lesson book for me.  Time after time, He teaches me valuable lessons from what I see in my garden.

This week has been no exception.

Always - ALWAYS - it's perfect timing.

I have always LOVED clematis.  (How do YOU say it? CLEM-a-tis? clem-AH-tis? clem-AY-tis?....)

I already had one growing up the side of the house, intertwined as it grows, with the scents mingling together, with wisteria and jasmine. The thing is, it grew at the SIDE of my house.  The only thing that is there is a path and the BINS! So, I decided we needed one somewhere more obvious.  By the front door.  I went to the garden centre and carefully examined all the pictures and descriptions, and chose the one I liked the most.  It was purple (no surprise to those who know me well!), with  pretty, double-headed flower.

The first summer I got ONE flower.


I was a bit disappointed, but it was a start.

Then, winter came.

And, my clematis looked like it had died.

It was brown, withered, and dried up.  It spanned the space it had grown, but any signs of life had GONE!

I consulted my more experienced mother, and she reassured me that clematis DOES that! It looks dead, but life will return.

Sure enough, spring came, and life returned.  It didn't require me to prune, water, or feed.  The life came back with no input from me at all, whatsoever.

This spring, the same thing is happening again, but as it starts to send out flowers, there is also growth, and MORE FLOWERS are appearing! I can't wait to see how it turns out this year, with more blooms to cheer up the wall it grows along.

I have had a challenging week, in many ways.  Life can be like that - did you know?

Yep, you know, don't you?  Those weeks when the challenges pull you into a sense of despair, and you need to call out to the Holy Spirit to renew you and give you the strength you need.

That plant, and the re-emergence of "life", drew my mind to my children.  I have struggles with them, as they exhibit challenging behaviour. They push all the wrong buttons, and stretch me to the very limit of my patience and grace.  They sin.  They "fail".  Sometimes, there just seems to be so little life, in a spiritual sense.

Then it dawned on me, as I gazed at my clematis.  I lovingly planted it.  I watered it as it grew. I made sure it had a trellis to grow up, and I gently encouraged it to grow up in the right direction.  I learnt about how it grows and  I covered its roots to protect them, as I knew it needed. I did all I could, but ultimately, I can't give that plant any life.  Only GOD gives life.  Only He can give "the increase".

"So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."
I Corinthians 3:7

Oh, how I needed to remember that, with my children.  God, so very kindly, and graciously, has entrusted my children into my care.  I have to look after them, nourish them, and train them up. I, however, cannot breathe spiritual life into their souls.


They may look "dead", as I go through different seasons.  The evidence of spiritual life may be absent, or very faint, but I can't create it in their hearts and souls.  God can.  He is able, and I just need to trust Him, and wait for the "spring-time" to come, in their lives.  I need to keep training, watering and caring for them, and patiently wait for the signs of life to come, in HIS time.

"It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
Lamentations 3:26

We need to keep our hope in the Lord, and quietly wait for Him to do the work in their hearts.

It's so easy to become "weary in well doing".  We keep labouring, and pouring our energy into the lives of our precious children.  Growth and development may seem scarce. But, the promise is there..

"for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not"

Galatians 6:9

It's hard to wait for the blooming to happen, but the patience is worth it.  We WILL reap, if we don't give up, and keep on sowing in faith.


  1. Yes, so often I have to remind myself that I am not the Holy Spirit. I can do - and *have* to do my job as Mum, but as you said, only the Holy Spirit brings spiritual LIFE.. Sometimes, it just ain't easy to know where our role begins and where it ends... :)

    1. I am so much more aware of it as they get older, too. I remind myself, often, that if I see sins in them, I need to see them in myself first. Adults just hide them better than children.