Ripening

03/09/2011

What is this?  Could it be a  Triffid?!?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Did you ever find a plant in your garden or flowerbed and not know what it is? Since you have no experience raising this particular plant, it appears that you have two choices available:

1. Kill it (by uprooting, spraying, etc.)
2. Let it grow

There is truly a season for everything, as is written in Ecclesiastes. And that includes people. Only God knows who and what each person will become! Think for a moment about that rowdy teenager who became a devoted middle-aged father. Or the timid child who now confidently stands at a podium addressing hundreds of people at a time. You just never know, do you?

It's very easy to give up on someone when they have disappointed you time and time again—when they consistently fail to live up to your expectations. "Oh, they'll never learn!" you lament.

What if God acted did that? Have you ever given him reason to give up on you? I know I have. But fortunately that's not his way. Quite the opposite, in fact. God sees the sin in your heart and is fully aware of the mistakes you'll make, but it somehow doesn't keep him from loving you and believing in you. Jesus loved Peter even though he knew he would deny him. He even told Peter that he would do it and it still happened! And yes, he even loved the Judas who betrayed him.

If God doesn't give up on people, then we shouldn't, either. That plant that you're about to uproot might turn out to be a beautiful flower. But if you pull it out of the ground, you'll never be able to enjoy its beauty when its time comes. Love it, nurture it, pray for it and see what happens.

 

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There are 4 comments

As regards your devotional, right on! I need to hear this message. I'm happy to receive grace, but my too-often critical heart can make me not so quick to give grace. Thanks for the reminder. It convicted me. (oh, and I like the triffid picture )

Shawn
March 10, 2011 - 11:10

Amy, well said indeed. Thanks for your comment and for letting me run my thoughts past you during the day!

kent
March 10, 2011 - 10:57

Thanks for this, Kent. It is a good reminder and encouragement. It is easy to give up on people, but your article reminds me of what God says in 2 Corinthians 5 about not viewing anyone from an earth-bound perspective. Instead we should remember that in Christ we are all new creations. We aren't what we used to be and we aren't what we will be. So let's work to be agents of reconciliation that embody God's patience with us. Thanks for your ministry with these devotionals!

Amy
March 10, 2011 - 10:51
Reply to Amy

That's my wife up there quoting scripture and alluding to Spurgeon (did you catch it, Kent? I know you're a Spurgeon guru.) She makes me so proud!

Shawn
March 10, 2011 - 11:07
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