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Wilted Plants… Life In Fullness?!

As I sat down for the Inspire International Prayer Gathering on Friday evening of 30 April, I looked at my desk and noticed the plant on the corner had wilted. This is where I have to confess that even as the daughter of two professional gardeners I am terrible at keeping plants alive!! Unless they are planted in the ground and watered by God, my plants tend to suffer dehydration and invariably meet a crispy end! It’s not that I don’t see it happening. I see them wilting and think to myself, “I should really water that plant.” Then something else takes over and I get distracted and then its too late! Very few plants survive my neglect and lack of watering.

As I sat at my desk contemplating the Prayer Gathering ahead of me, I noticed the flowers on my gerbera were floppy and looking very sad. The leaves were limp and drooping. I nudged one of the flower heads that was slumped and looking down at the floor and said to it “I know how you feel!” I was sat there drinking a pint of water thinking to myself, “I really should water that plant!”

So I did. Just before I signed on to the zoom meeting for the Prayer Gathering, I poured half of my glass of water into the gerbera pot. (The other half, sadly, went all over my desk!) I didn’t really think about the plant for the next hour or so whilst we were praying but towards the end of the Gathering I glanced over at the plant and the flowers were not looking so sad. In fact one of them was upright again. The leaves were looking less limp and more full of life. It’s amazing what half a pint of water can do to a very forlorn plant.

I have to admit, as I had sat down to the Prayer Gathering I felt like I could sympathise with the plant. I was feeling limp, lame, a bit battered. My head was hanging low and I didn’t have much life in me. I’m sure we have all felt a bit like that at times. For a lot of people this last 12 months may have felt like it has sucked the life out of us. Maybe you are feeling a sad. Maybe your head is hanging low and your shoulders are drooped. Maybe you don’t feel there is much life running through your veins. 

In John chapter 9, Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth. This kind of illness/disability was usually blamed on the sins of the parents of the affected child. This man had been an outcast all his life. After he was healed the Pharisees interrogated him and got angry with him because he insisted Jesus was the Messiah, eventually they got so angry with him they cast him out of the synagogue. Jesus heard about this and went to find the man. I think he went to encourage him but I am no theologian. The Pharisees heard Jesus talking with the healed man and began to ask Jesus provocative questions. Jesus, being Jesus, only answered in parables which the Pharisees did not understand. Within these parables Jesus talks of sheep and wolves, hired hands and the shepherd, thieves and robbers, safety and danger. The climax of the parables being the famous verse about the thief coming to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus coming to bring life, not just life as in lack of death, but life in all its fullness! (John 10:10) That is what Jesus wanted for the blind man, and it is what he wants for us. 

I want to be able to sit here and say after the Prayer Gathering I felt full of life and my head was lifted and all was good in the world. I certainly felt better but sadly sometimes it takes a bit more than half a pint of water and an hour of Prayer Gathering to restore life in all its fullness, but the promise is still there! At the end of each day if the only thing I have done all day is to cling to that promise of life in all its fullness then that is a day well spent. After all, ‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’ Hebrews 10:23.

Rachel is the Prayer Coordinator for the Inspire Movement, and co-editor of the Beacon of Hope

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