So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7
We planted this Washington Orange seedling last year. When it grew well, the winter’s frost wilted its leaves and stem.
We thought this plant was a goner, but we looked closely at its base and saw some solid green colour. That gave us hope that this orange plant would grow again.
Spring came, and nothing happened. Then, one warm summer day, we saw signs of regrowth. Leaves have started to come out. The orange plant is growing back again.
Reflecting on my ministry journey, I learned the following:
- Your firm rootedness founded in Jesus Christ will sustain you through any season.
- The Lord God will cut “branches” that are not productive and are hindrances to His work.
- He prunes “fruitful ” branches so that they will be more productive.
“Branches” could mean the people around you, facilities and things you thought you needed for the ministry, cultural values and practices. They can be organisations or networks you engage with, too.
The “frosty winter mornings” are when you think nothing is happening or things aren’t working out as expected.
They can be occasions of distrusts, doubt, and unworthiness because somebody devalued your worth. Loss of partners and true friends in the ministry can affect motivation and determination.
Like the many prophets, the psalmists, and the lamenters of old, I had moments when I thought the Lord God had abandoned me, everything was over, and I should give up.
Yet from them, I learned that there is a season for everything, that I have to wait patiently in the Lord, and that joy comes in the morning when I seek and find the day’s new mercies.
To my co-workers, believers in Christ, and friends who are going through some “frosty winter mornings”, please be encouraged by this — When you are deeply rooted in Christ, you will face adversities but surely grow again.
You will burst out with new leaves, and soon you will bear much fruit in His appointed season.
With all that our orange plant had gone through, seeing the new growth, I am excited to taste the sweetest and juiciest orange from our backyard when the time comes.
As its caretakers, we must protect and diligently care for the orange plant’s roots, ensuring that it is rooted deeply and richly in good soil.
So, our lives are under the loving care of the Lord Jesus Christ.