Tony Campolo: You’re not going to able to live out the Christian life unless two things are true.
“For, ‘All 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.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)
Here in Texas, late spring and early summer is especially beautiful. Bluebonnets and other wildflowers blanket the hills in brilliant color. It is so breathtakingly gorgeous, I put a picture of Texas bluebonnets on the cover of my newest novel, Focused. The picture was taken at my brother-in-law’s property in the Hill Country where the novel is set—before the last few years of ravaging drought. The hills are not so pretty now, but one day they will be beautiful again.
They say that April showers bring May flowers. But, if there are not very many showers, the wildflowers are not so abundant and brilliant in color. I think the same is true of our lives. When we go through hard times, and we will because we no longer live in Eden, two things are true. First, the hard times won’t last forever. Second, they will bring about blessings we have yet to imagine. Like the Texas wildflowers after a cold winter and rainy spring, our life will explode in joyous color. God will restore and bless our days. What we have been through will make those blessings even more precious.
Peter quoted a passage from the prophet Isaiah when he wrote, “For, ‘All 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.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)
God’s Word feeds the roots underneath the soil of your life. Feed it well and eventually the flowers will bloom. Hard times can make His word more real and solidify our faith, if we choose to stay constant and trust in God. A generation ago a preacher’s wife wrote a little book about that called Bloom Where You Are Planted. No matter what you go through, if you let the word of God nourish you through the tough times, your life will blossom.
Yes, there will be seasons when you bloom less, perhaps because those will be seasons of less strife and hardship. Don’t make the mistake of not feeding your roots during those times, thinking you are just fine and do not need God’s word to nurture you. Do not put yourself into a drought. Keep reading, keep praying, keep studying and keep fellowshipping. Store up God’s love in your roots for the next time the storms come.
Unto everything, there is a season and there really is a time for every purpose unto Heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) If you stay in the Word no matter the season, not only will you have enough to get through the harshest weather in your life, but you’ll have plenty left over so people can see you burst into bloom and marvel at your faith response. They will see how God’s grace has blanketed your life with beauty.
Heavenly Father, who provides all we need in this life, let us constantly store up Your word in our lives no matter the season. Forgive the times we put ourselves in drought thinking we do not need it in our lives. Restore in us the nourishment of Your grace in times of harsh, cold and rainy weather, knowing those seasons will not last. In time Your blessings will be revealed in our lives like a burst of wildflowers over the hills, as a witness to Your steadfast love. Through Jesus’ name, Amen.
Questions: Is it a harsh cold winter, a drenching spring rainy time, or a early summer blossoming time in your life right now? How will you respond?