Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Shepastor: “Sometimes Blossoms Skip a Season…”

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:11, KJV

This verse of scripture is the 2nd portion of a promise God gave to His people regarding the tithe…giving God the “first fruits” of all of their increase at a level of 10%. For those who “put God to the test,” and trusted Him enough to put Him first in their finances and in every aspect of their lives, God promised to “rebuke the devourer” for their sakes.

Sometimes it feels, no matter how faithful we’ve been that the “devourer” gobbles up various aspects of our lives. When doors remain closed, when children go astray, when finances are devastated, when sickness prevails, when death knocks at the door, it can feel like we were left out of the “blessed crew…”

But things are not always what they seem…

The other day while shopping for a special gathering in my home, as I entered the store I was greeted with a beautiful display of big, bright, lush fuchsia colored hydrangea. I started to walk past them, but they were so incredibly beautiful I could not resist…I bought two! I proudly brought them home and placed them on our front portico steps. Our children and our guests were thrilled when they saw them. I beamed with joy as they enjoyed the beauty of these gorgeous flowers.

Because I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, before going to sleep I decided to read up on how to care for these flowers. While reading I was particularly drawn to one aspect of their care….

The gardening guide advised that if hydrangea become dry and begin to die, “cut them down to the base, removing all blooms and leaves…leaving only the stem.” It further explained that the following season, the stem would produce no blooms, only leaves. Blooms would skip a season. But the season after that, the blooms would be strong, bountiful and lush.

This analogy spoke volumes to me. Just like hydrangea, when the Lord sees us getting “dry,” maybe even dying in some respects, He may elect to “cut us down to the base.” We may experience seasons without blooms…seasons of a few scraggly leaves so to speak or no leaves at all! But God knows exactly what He is doing! During those seasons of pruning, it may feel like we will never blossom again…it may look like we are barren and fruitless…it may appear to others that we have little or nothing going on…but our GREAT and AWESOME GOD sees the blooms coming in the next season!

Sometimes God strips us to the base to rid our lives, our hearts and our spirits of dead things, diseased things, harmful things that if left hanging on our stem would do irreparable damage and ultimately destroy our blossoms. Knowing all things, God intentionally cuts away those things that will stop us from experiencing the full, lush, bright and beautiful blossoms He desires us to produce.

Sometimes blossoms skip a season. Trust God…although you may be cut down to the base, know that your season of blooming is coming…coming strong, lush, big and beautiful!

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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