Last year about this time – I bought 2 wrought iron gates at a yard sale for a couple of dollars each. Thrilled with my new ‘find’ I placed them in just the right ‘spots’ – one in front and one in back. I pictured ivy scaling up the gates and gracing our home with that stately look of stability and comfort.
Once the gates were in place, I bought the best English ivy plants I could find, tucked them into the ground and waited. I knew from experience that ivy’s a ‘slow grow’ and the benefits would be a season away – I could wait.
The months went by and the ivies ‘hung out’ (literally) and even survived the bitter winter. Once the sun came out, the vine in front began to sprout – winding up the post in a poetic, dance. In contrast, the vine out back, remained unchanged. Although alive, it seemed … dwarfed.
Come spring, I realized the source of my dilemma. The first vine was planted in full range of the sprinkler system, set to brush the shrubs with a soft spray of nourishment on a consistent basis. The latter vine was placed just outside the reach of life-giving water. Although I’d carefully placed the ivies out of the elements and hand-watered regularly – I’d overlooked the obvious.
This lesson reminds me so much of life. We carefully place our children’s lives in the best place we know of, plant them where they will prosper, and protect them from the harshness of life. Then watch and we pray.
Water is life giving – like our words.
But, if our children’s lives are void of encouragement, heavy on works and light on grace – they dwarf, in their souls. In contrast, if we wash them with the water of words of encouragment and shower them with words of life – fitly spoken in due season – they grow.
The visible realities of waterless growth – are obvious. The hearty fruit of a well watered plant are as well. We want our children to be, ‘like a well-watered garden’ (Isaiah 58:11). May our words line up with God’s words – so we can give them that opportunity.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8