See this cute little rose tree? It looks pretty healthy, right? And it is. But what this picture doesn’t show is that just last month (as in a couple weeks ago) it was pretty much dead. It literally had two tiny leaves left. The hot summer got to it. Plus it had some persistent little pests that kept gnawing away at it. I think it got tired.
I almost threw it out. But I saw those two little leaves and decided to give it a chance. I cut off all the dead stuff and became a little more intentional about caring for it.
It started to bounce back within days.
What’s funny is that this is the second time a “dead” plant has come back to life on my little patio. I have a potted orange tree that was down for the count last year. The pot it lives in didn’t have proper drainage and it got root rot. (If you are discerning by now that I’m not exactly a master Gardner, you would be correct! But I am learning …) I started to care for it differently, and it came back, too—although that one took a lot longer.
I’ve always heard that when God does something once, He is setting a precedent. But when He does something twice, He is saying “Listen up!” and making His intentions abundantly clear.
The heat has been intense lately. Almost too much to bear. An abundance of pests have gnawed away at us relentlessly. The pruning required in this season has been drastic and thorough. To survive, we’ve had to learn to care for ourselves—and allow Him to care for us—differently.
But we’re still here. We’re still alive. We’re still standing. He hasn’t given up on us.
Every time I look at that tree, I keep hearing, “Here’s where the dead things come back to living.”* Many have gone through more than one “death.” It may have seemed like you just barely recovered from a long season of confusion and loss, only to be thrust quickly into an even more drastic season of “cutting away.”
But here’s the good news—restoration is coming. And when I consider my little rose tree, I suspect it may happen more quickly than we dare imagine.
“Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel.” -Amos 9:13 The Msg.