Posted by: Brad Stanford | September 3, 2009

Withered, Weathered, And Water

This house has two rose bushes: one at the front corner of the porch, and one at the back corner. When we moved here, they looked dead. We didn’t get a chance to tend to them for a few days, and even then it was partly because we were trying to run the water from our new well to get rid of the sediment in the line.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, those two plants were playing possum. After thorough watering, we discovered the one at the front is a white/pink bush, and the one at the back is red. In fact, They’re getting so healthy and tall now, they need to be trimmed!

Working on behalf of hurting people is the same way. They may look withered and weathered on the outside, but they’re still in there just waiting for some source of water. But from where? Other people around them who are also withered and weathered? Birds of a feather flock together, so where will help come from?

In this dry and thirsty nation, living water will cause roses bloom out of the dust. But the water must be routed. For my roses, I used my hoses. For bigger projects, they make pipelines. In some areas of the world, water must be trucked in. If people are to be helped, then people who can help have to create n infrastructure to bring the living water to those who need it.

That infrastructure is called discipleship. One-on-one, meet-the-need, teach-by-example, learning-to-hear discipleship. Drive-by waterings don’t make roses bloom. Long, low-flow, trickly waterings do.

One last thing: I’m watering the roses that have been given to me. I didn’t go looking for rose bushes. I’m not watering my neighbor’s rose bushes. I’m taking care of the ones that have been given to me. We don’t have to disciple everyone we meet. We are to serve everyone we meet, but long-term, low-flow relationships are only for those whom God gives to us.

Our mission is not to convert everyone. It is to disciple those whom we are given. In this way, we water the withered and weathered, so in turn, they can do the same.

Eventually, we will look up from our work and find the world is in bloom.

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