One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. Luke 18:1 (NLT)
For some reason, this season of my life has been extremely busy. The grandkids are older now and there are school programs, recitals, sports games, calf shows, what have you. I just haven’t had much time to devote to keeping up with my outdoor work.
When I did finally get a chance to get out into the back yard, I was surprised to see that one of the new bushes I had planted this summer was pretty much dead. I had forgotten about this bush, that it didn’t get hit by the sprinkler, that it was new and needed a lot of water. I was sad to see it dried up and shriveled because I forgot.
I didn’t hold out much hope for that bush. It looked pretty bad. But I began to faithfully water it twice a day. Today I saw that some of it was turning green again and there was a little bit of new growth. I am trusting that my faithfulness in caring for it will allow it to continue to live and grow.
I know how busy your life can get, especially once all the school stuff kicks in. There’s homework to do, club meetings to attend, sports practice and games. But don’t let all this busyness make you forget the assignment God has given your family. Don’t forget that someone you love very much needs your prayers now more than ever. Don’t forget that nothing is impossible with God.
Just like lack of water caused my new bush to shrivel up and look dead, so can forgetting to pray for the salvation of your dad or your mom; forgetting to pray for the restoration of your family; forgetting that your prayers can bring life to things that others call dead.
This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Romans 4:17b (NLT)
For the longest time, I didn’t see anything good happening with that bush. Every day when I went out to water it looked just as dead as the day before. No green parts showing, no new growth. Just dried up branches hanging onto curled brown leaves. I came close to giving up and pulling it out.
Maybe you’ve been praying for a long time and haven’t seen anything happen. But what could be happening that you can’t see? What could be going on in the heart and mind of your mom or dad as you pray faithfully? Each prayer that is offered on behalf of your dad or mom, is heard and answered by God. It may not look much like resurrected life, it may still look dead, but that doesn’t mean it is. It just means it might take a little longer to start to thrive again. Don’t forget that God often does His greatest work behind the scenes. Sometimes this work takes a little longer. Just be patient – and don’t forget to pray.
To tell the truth, I was getting kind of tired of dragging the hose around the side of the house every day to water that bush. It was a lot of work and I wasn’t sure it was worth it, especially since we’re heading into the late fall/early winter season.
Maybe you’re feeling like that right now. This praying is a lot of work. Will it be worth it? You bet it will. Good things are worth working and waiting for. God loves to hear the prayers of His children. Can you imagine how it makes God’s heart smile to see His faithful children persevering in prayer for the salvation of the ones they love? Can you imagine how delighted He will be when that faithful prayer watering makes a family grow and flourish once again? Oh, what the Lord has in store for you if you just don’t forget.
Although that bush took a beating, because I was faithful in watering it, it is once again starting to thrive. It’s nowhere near as beautiful yet as it used to be, but that’s OK. I know in time it will be.
Your family may have taken a beating lately, but be assured that God has some awesome plans for you. It may not be beautiful yet, but in God’s time it will be. Your continued faithful prayers are what can turn something that looks dead into something beautiful once again. And this will be for God’s glory.
“Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” Isaiah 55:13 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska