I have some pictures to share with you this morning. I have a plant that had a rough winter. I try to keep lots of plants alive in my office and in my garage through the winter. This particular plant did not have a good spot in my office through the winter. I could have easily given up on it, thrown it out, and bought a new one. But I had faith that it could survive. I took a picture of the plant in April and a picture today. You can see the progress that has been made.
For the purpose of today’s blog, I see the plant as a parable for the Christian life. I will not assume to speak for you, but as for me there are dry seasons and rainy seasons. There are times I am so certain that God is there that I can feel Him and almost hear Him. There are other times when I feel like my soul is shrivelling. And as much as I consider it an honor to preach on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, there are mornings that if I was not the preacher, I would skip church. I thank God that those dry seasons are few and usually brief. And I share this with you without shame. I am imperfectly walking with Jesus just like most of you.
The picture of this fake flower is how some people see their pastor. Nearly every pastor I know would admit the ups and downs of not just the ministry, but his or her walk as a basic believer. Anything other than honesty about the ups and downs of the Christian life is a disservice to the congregation. Anyone you see as bloomingly beautiful all the time is a false view of that person. What you see of most everyone on Facebook is only a partial picture. So do not feel like you are alone when you feel like you are in a miry pit. Remember it is only a season.
Today, I want you to remember if you are there now or have been there for a while, it is only temporary. The sun will shine again. You will feel the presence of the Lord again. Maybe today is the day.
This is why we should read the Psalms. This is why I put three Psalms in the bulletin every Sunday asking people to read them. Hear what David said in the 40th Psalm about real life:
I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the Lord
and has not turned to the proud
or to those who run after lies!
I pray He puts a song in your mouth and today, a hymn of praise to our God. I hope you will listen to this from Matt Maher.