The survivors left in Judah will strike fresh roots below ground and yield above ground.
~2 Kings 19:30, REB
It matters little where we live or what kind of weather we face, so long as our roots are finding the Eternal Spring.
Each year we wait eleven and a half months to see the azalea’s bloom and flower for two weeks. Without question, the azalea is a beautiful flowering shrub but we must endure the long wait to see the flower. A man was visiting a hot house in late autumn. The owner carried him to an underground room that got only tiny bits of sunlight. There the man saw row after row of pots with the dirt inside but he saw no plant and no flower. The manager of the nursery said, “These are our winter flowers and this is there rooting season: they root best in the dark.”
The scripture above comes from Hezekiah’s experience with Sennacherib. The Assyrian butcher invaded Judah and destroyed many of their cities. The LORD intervened and stopped the demonic despot from destroying Jerusalem. Isaiah the prophet had a word for the country side in Judah, “You will once again plant and harvest.” It was a word of hope. I really like the way the REB states verse 30. In the life of a plant, there is the part that takes place below ground and the part that happens above ground. We can see what happens above: once my garden comes out of the ground, I began watching the growth or lack thereof but I cannot see what happens below the surface. I have seed in the ground as we speak but I cannot see what is happening.
The winter flowers mentioned above have a long rooting season, then there is the growth of the plant and the very last phase is the flowering of the plant. I see a parallel to our SANCTIFICATION. First of all, it is a very slow process and there are times when we think no progress is being made. Secondly, like the rooting below ground, God works in our hearts and no one can see what He is doing. It takes a long time for Him to develop the proper root system so that we can bear fruit and flower. Young people, do not get discouraged, as Paul said, “I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Interestingly, the very next verse following today’s scripture reads: “THE ZEAL OF THE LORD WILL PERFORM THIS.” Sanctification is a work of grace.
When we reach the “Flowering Stage” people will be able to see what God is and has done in our lives. Back to the azalea, that flowering stage may come in the very last part of your life: especially for those of us who are slow learners. Just think about it: have we seen Israel flower? I don’t so but I do believe it is coming. Would you describe the Church as a beautiful flower? I think we have green leaves and some fruit but we have yet to flower. Jesus is not going to wed Himself to an homily wife. What did Paul say in Ephesians five, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant [bride] church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” How can this be possible? God’s power and grace!
Setting here doing my devotions and it dawned on me, I did not hit the PUBLISH BUTTON on yesterday’s blog so here it is late and all.
By the way, this is Day 20 on the Covid-19 SHUT-DOWN and the numbers do not look bad. Morgan County has had an increase of 3 over the past 5 days. I am thinking we will see some more freedom very soon.