In a previous season of life, I had an herb garden. It was little but it was loaded. I was happily growing rosemary, mint, thyme and a few other things on the window sill in my high rise apartment. I loved grabbing a few herbs and adding it to a dish I was making, even if I had to supplement with store-bought ones my garden couldn’t yield enough for a whole teaspoon (Hey, I said it was little!). But then I had to go back to Georgia for Christmas break and had to leave my little garden behind for two weeks. . This ended up being the hardest holiday season I have yet to encounter. My sister affectionately refers to it as “the worst christmas ever”. My life had been turned upside down and despite my families valiant efforts to rally behind me during this dark season, we all were feeling the weight of what I was going through. I spent the break grieving and hiding away from the issues Id left behind in Chicago.
But eventually, I had to return to the ice cold, hollow city I now called home. I walked in my chilly apartment for the first time in 2 weeks, still shattered from the events that had transpired weeks before and I scanned the space for anything that would make me feel at home. I spotted my little herb garden in the corner on the window sill. It hadn’t been watered or tended to in weeks. It was dead. This was just enough to send me into a downward spiral. This lifeless bed of herbs so closely resembled how I felt inside. It was like this dead plant was mirroring my current circumstances. Nothing I had dreamed of when I packed my bags and moved hundreds of miles away had really panned out like I planned.
But I was here. I was in chicago, I was in this apartment and this was my life now- whether I wanted it to be or not. So I dropped my bags, changed clothes, and went to the kitchen. I filled up a pitcher and started watering the dead plants. I don’t know what I was thinking but I just decided that these plants would live. I couldn’t control the other things in my life that had died but maybe I could salvage this little garden.
I watered it for weeks and the dried cracked stems remained the same. Until one morning in January, a green leaf popped up on one of the branches. And then another and another. And soon enough the whole thing blossomed back to life. My herb garden was restored. It was revived. And it was better than ever. And by the time it started to flourish, I had too. I took the same approach with the plant that I did my life. I took it one day at a time. I healed, I grew, I prayed, and I was patient with myself. I watered myself with the word and gave myself time to adjust to my new life. I didn’t rush the process of moving out of the tough season. I embraced the hurt it brought and found ways to keep moving forward.
There are somethings that are just essential to our livelihood. Like a little garden needing some water, we need Jesus(John 4:14). Just like it took a while for the plant to come back to life, we have to be patient with the revival work He is doing in us when we feel dead. Eventually we will bounce back when we are connected to the one true vine. We will be restored, renewed, revived and rebuilt. We will be like the dead bones in Ezekiel 37 and go from dust to army. Jesus is just faithful like that. So if you find yourself down and out like I was, just keep watering yourself with the things you know to be true and eventually you’ll bloom again. Don’t give up too soon. He is the God of revival.
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.- John 4:14
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.- John 5:15