Yesterday morning, I received a text from a friend letting me that her church was having spring revival meetings and she knew that one of the guest speakers was “one of my favorite preachers.” Friends just know you like that:) I do so enjoy his preaching….and I very much enjoy revival! When I responded, I mentioned that spring was such a great time for a revival! With all the beauty and “new life” that is evident everywhere this time of year, isn’t spring just a wonderful picture of revival? The “bringing back to life” that I have always associated with revival.
I have often heard the analogy that revival is like the rekindling, or restoking, of a fire that is simply smoldering. Fanning fresh flames and making it bright, if not hot, again. And, I suppose, revival is a bringing back to life – a restoring to vigorous health – and so very needed for our country, our homes, our churches, and for many Christians. Without reviving, there is a real danger of losing all fervor – all passion for Christ and the cause of Christ, as well as any effectiveness.
I think of the beautiful phlox bordering our backyard flower bed. We planted it several years ago. Although we watered it regularly, we had not done much else for it. Not surprisingly, it has never done great. It would bloom a bit – but not great – and was always rather unimpressive. We had even discussed pulling it out. However, my husband decided to prune it and then fertilize it. Oh my, what a beautiful transformation. Fertilizing was apparently exactly the reviving those little beauties needed! They are healthy and blooming where they were planted:)
But revival is not simply for renewal. Revival is also strengthening. A regular – even daily – routine and care needed for maintaining spiritual strength. Again, my thoughts turn to our small yard/garden and the things that bloom there. We plant pansies every fall hoping for at least a bit of color through the winter months. They take a beating during our long winters but seem to come back each spring. This past February was especially harsh and I had little hope for our potted plants last month. (Again, we talked of simply throwing them out. We of such small faith…..) Instead, I moved them to the brightest sun, did some pruning (another recurring theme) and hoped for the best. I was not disappointed! They are beautiful!
But those little pansies need daily care. It only takes about 24 hours without water and they begin to droop. Much more, and they wilt. Just as quickly, they can be revived but they do need attention every day. And so does my spiritual life. Church is wonderful. Fellowship with other believers is a blessing and a help. Ministry and serving – the going and doing throughout the week- is great. But without daily refreshing, my spiritual zeal – my passion – begins to droop. That daily reviving comes through Bible reading and prayer. Time alone with Christ. My husband and I have devotions together but, again, I need alone with Him. The effect of skipping this time is evident so quickly….just like those pansies.
So many analogies in the yard. Our little garden. So much joy and so many lessons. I’m glad the Master Gardener has more patience than I do with my plants – oh my. I am grateful for the tender care – even the pruning – and the truth that beauty is possible wherever He has me planted. I know that daily care is needed. I have all that I need to grow and bloom….and I don’t want to neglect it. What lesson have you learned from the garden lately? I love these analogies, so please share. I snapped the photo above just this morning. Pansies make me smile.