"An Inside Perspective"

January 2009


My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Winter is here and as I look out my window a blanket of snow covers the grounds.  It is a slower season for us down at the greenhouse.  Mind you, there is still plenty of work to be done inside, but we don’t have the summer’s usual up-keep and care of the outside grounds to tend to.

Outside everything is cropped, trimmed, and lying dormant until the spring.  Blankets of cuttings have been carefully laid at the foot of the Hibiscus’ in hopes that they will weather the winter well.  The Lord promised Noah when he got off the ark that the seasons would never cease.  It is written, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”  Yes, ever since the creation “winter always hopes for spring,” and surely, spring is yet to come.

As I stood outside the greenhouse door today, waiting to go to lunch, I observed the grounds.  I was struck by the vast difference in their appearance contingent upon the season.  It is still the dead of winter, but my heart cries out for the spring!

It is written, “For lo, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone; flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig putteth forth her green figs and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell . . .”

I now know from experience the wondrous transformation the spring rains will bring.  Winter hopes for spring and spring gives birth to summer when God so beautifully clothes the earth in her most loveliest attire.  “Consider the lilies.”

It is written in the wisdom of Job, “For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.  Though the root thereof wax (grow) old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through (at) the scent of water if will bud, and spring forth boughs like a plant.”

I always liked that little phrase, “at the scent of water.”  It seems to be pregnant with spiritual meaning.  Just think what the “scent of water” does to a thirsty man.  Think about how the spring rains transform the deadness of barren winter.  Roots will grow old and the stock may die, or so we think, but at the “scent of water” it will bud and spring forth boughs like a plant!  Let us lay hold of that principle; namely, that God is still at work even when things look dead!!

I was dead once.  I was cut down by sin and it was said I could never sprout again.  I was lost “without God and without hope in the world.”  Everyone had written me off as beyond recovery.  Yet, despite all appearances, Mother Jane did not give up and chose instead to look at me through the eyes of faith.  She had turtledoves singing in her own branches and she knew that her God could cause them to sing in mine too!  She knew in her heart, by faith, that at “the scent of water,” God’s living Word, I could become a plant in the garden of God.  She focused on what God could do in me, not on my condition or circumstances.

My lovely mother was also spiritually dead for 72 years!  Her root was very old, but I stepped out in faith and believed my God to save her.  Bless the Lord, He did just that!  My God, my God, in the dead of winter, “at the scent of water,” flowers began to appear in her life and the singing of birds is come!  My stars!  There are so many birds now that she needs a bird-feeder! Hallelujah!

Do you ever observe people as I observed the grounds?  Are you able to see past the season of sin that they may be in?  Can you, by faith, see past their season of winter and pray for spring in their lives?  Can you just imagine what they would be like with turtledoves singing in their branches?

I know that you, too, may have some old roots in your own life. Perhaps there are some people you’ve known for many, many years, who “seem to you” to be living in the barrenness of winter.  Are there others in your life whose very stock seems dead and with out hope?  Maybe some co-workers who you’ve given up on.  Imagine where I would be had Mother Jane given up on me.  She brought the “scent of water” the Word by the Spirit into my life for nearly six years before the flowers appeared!

The world now is in an ever-tightening grip of winter.  The darkness and gloomy barrenness of the unsaved can at times discourage you.  Be encouraged and push on through soldier!  Be a witness in word and deed.  Who knows if the next old root you talk to won’t “bud and bring forth boughs like a plant . . .


Joyfully in Jesus,