Water Your Faith - Jolene Nel
Jolene dives into a beautiful analogy comparing our journey in faith to watering a flower. She unpacks how important it is for us to soak in the knowledge of God, and reminds us that even in the tough times God is still present.
Imagine potting a beautiful flower. You take good care of it since day one as you want it to grow strong and be healthy. You water it every day and makes sure it has plenty of sun. Through this nurturing you have done, the plant stands tall and blooms. All of a sudden you get a call to head away for a weekend, so you head off leaving your plant behind. No one is home to water it and soon it starts to wilt.
Coming back from your trip you go and check up on your plant and it isn’t how you left it but instead, it’s head is hanging and most of the petals have fallen off and it's about to die...You killed yet another house plant. I’m kidding, you google how to bring a plant back to its full beauty and all it says is to water it, so you do. You soon realise only the smallest amount of water is seeping into the soil and the rest runs off like water on a duck's back.
The soil got so dry from the lack of care it had (too much sunlight but not enough water.) How will we bring this plant back to life? Will we give up hope and just leave it there or will we keep trying despite knowing that it is almost dead? Would you give up hope in this plant?
You see going to church is like taking care of the plant, you get fed with the love of God. You being the plant and God is the water in this situation. Going to church on a regular basis, reading your bible and praying are all ways which you can flourish in the knowledge of God, and learn about the unconditional love He gives to us.
So where does this dying part come in? Well if we think about it, everyone goes through tough times in life despite how long or how short it lasts. Times which we get so consumed in the situation that we are in, that we get so distracted. So we water our plant less and less, becoming “too busy” to go to church, to read our bibles, or to pray.
This results in us pulling away from God, we start lacking in the knowledge of how great God is and how much love He has for us. We start retracting from going to church and start prioritising life over it such as exams or that big assignment you had to finish (which you left to the last minute.)
We starve ourselves from the love of God and drift away. Life sometimes gets in the way of our relationship with God but we should always remember to put God in the equation as well. Despite how much you push Him away he will always be there, it's like that person you have to meet up with but keep forgetting to message, at some point, you have to meet up.
A saying which I recently found and is so true is “ If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.” If it’s in His plan, He’s got control and He will be sure that you survive this hard time. As you slowly drift away from God, as you doubt or question if He’s even there, we become resistant of His water He pours on us (which is his love) and we start to slowly die but will He allow us to die? To no longer live in His love?
I don’t think sooo!!
So how do we become filled with His love? To make God a key part of our lives again?
Step 1. Get bible
Step 2. Read Bible
Nah I’m just kidding.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 says “Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen, and cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.” For there to be an absence of what was once there and to rejoice in the Lord despite the absence is just super cool. But in order for us to allow God to be a key point in our lives again, we must start by trusting God and allowing Him into the equation.
We must soak in his love.
We must dunk that plant in a bucket of water, all of it! Just do it! ,then allow it rest and sit until we wait for any improvement to show. This is allowing the water of life to seep into the nooks and crannies of the dry soil for it to be fed again, for it to no longer be a light brown colour from the dryness but to be a deep brown as it should be.
The improvement is the flower is greener than before and the petals have colour again and it is no longer hanging its head. We must soak in the knowledge of God through the Bible, praying and going to church, or even spending time with loved ones or friends. Spending time with God and incorporating him into the equation, again and again, to never leave him out. It’s like missing that line that creates a plus(+) from a minus(-). We must soak in the richness of his love, the love he pours out and gives to us, for us to not give up hope on Him.
Colossians 1:9-10 reads “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God”.
Doesn’t that just fit this situation perfectly, for us to be filled with the knowledge of His will and that we know he's got us covered. If you have been through a tough time recently, in the past or even currently, you will know that somewhere there was or is still hope.
Hope that God had or has your back despite you pushing Him to the back of your mind. For you are made in His image. You are His child. For He loves you unconditionally forever. Even if you question God in the situation you will see him in the smallest things, for that’s His way to show you that He is still there with you despite what you are going through.
So did we give up hope on this plant just because it was dying? Because we thought it was a lost cause?
I don’t think so! Or at least I didn’t.
But no we didn’t, because somewhere deep inside us we secretly loved this flower and didn’t want to kill yet another house plant. We saw the potential it once had and we wanted that back didn’t we?
1 Peter 1:23-25 says “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For “all the people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
Have you gone through a hard time? Did you stray away from God?
So to finish this off. Always have hope in God and always put him in the equation even if it’s math for he will be with you through the struggle and pain you have to endure. We must soak in the knowledge of God through the Bible, praying and going to church, or even spending time with loved ones or friends. Remember that flowers also go through the same stuff and that we can relate to them more than you think. But also Flowers are very beautiful and so are you.
Jolene works at Bunnings part time. She enjoys the people who she works with and the environment at work. She was born in South Africa and moved to New Zealand 12 years ago. She has been a going to Windsor Park Baptist Church for 5 years now and helps lead the year nines. Jolene is excited to see where God is wanting to grow and work in her life in the near future.