Tag Archives: lesson 8

Jesus Wept; The Bible and Human Emotions, Lesson 8, Resilience

I am writing from my home tonight, in the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This week’s SS lesson, (Download SS app to your phone) on resilience got me to thinking about my plant in the above picture. It didn’t always look like that. For 16 years it was a nice big green plant. A friend gave it to me, when I moved into my first apartment in Fort Worth, Texas. I do not know much about plants, but I watered it every week. I never changed the soil. The plant (I don’t even know what it is called) made the move with me to Florida, back in 2004. Just in the last couple years it would start getting yellow leaves which I would trim off. I did not have the plant arranged where it got a lot of light, but it seemed to do well without any natural light for years. My mother told me the leaves were turning yellow because it had too much water. So I started watering it less. Still the leaves turned yellow. I plucked off the yellow leaves, and soon there was not much more to pluck off.

Recently I bought a coffee maker. I don’t really drink coffee, but sometimes after I serve my guests, they like to relax with a cup of decaf. I empty the coffee grounds into the plant pot. I heard that helps plants. My plant still continued to die. I decided to give it more light and sat it next the window for the first time in 16 years. The leaves all turned yellow, and what’s more, the top of the soil started growing some kind of white fuzz. Again I know nothing about plants, but did not think that was good. After 16 years I did not want to lose my plant. Finally reality set in, and I realized the plant was gone, or so I thought. When I went to throw the plant away, I noticed a small green leaf sprouting through the coffee grounds.  Even as dumb witted as I am about plants, something told me to go to Wal-Mart. Get some repotting soil and replant the little green sprout. I did and the plant appears to have grown a little bit even after this picture which I took yesterday. I have the plant sitting in the window now, and we will see what becomes of it.

This got me to thinking about how resilient God’s grace is. I thought the plant was dead and good for nothing but the garbage, but as it turned out something was actually growing there. How many times do we think all hope is gone when there is still hope with God? We just need to trust God’s grace which is very resilient. I hear from people all over the place who sometimes think their church is dead. Be careful. There might be something growing there. Maybe you are tempted to stop praying for a loved one to come to Jesus. Don’t give up. Something may be growing there. The green sprout in my plant came where there was nothing but death as far as I could see. The green sprout is growing. My plant, after 16 years is showing some resilience. God’s grace is resilient. God is resilient. Now that I know there is hope, I am going to take better care of my plant! Don’t stop caring for your situation. There is hope there too!

So, any advice on how to better care for my plant?

Redemption in Romans, Lesson 8

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

As we study this week’s SS lesson we find there is only one hope for Paul in his struggle in Romans 7.

  It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, “I consent unto the law that it is good.” “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, “I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:16, 12, 14. He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.  {SC 19.1} 
     Many are the figures by which the Spirit of God has sought to illustrate this truth, and make it plain to souls that long to be freed from the burden of guilt. When, after his sin in deceiving Esau, Jacob fled from his father’s home, he was weighed down with a sense of guilt. Lonely and outcast as he was, separated from all that had made life dear, the one thought that above all others pressed upon his soul, was the fear that his sin had cut him off from God, that he was forsaken of Heaven. In sadness he lay down to rest on the bare earth, around him only the lonely hills, and above, the heavens bright with stars. As he slept, a strange light broke upon his vision; and lo, from the plain on which he lay, vast shadowy stairs seemed to lead upward to the very gates of heaven, and upon them angels of God were passing up and down; while from the glory above, the divine voice was heard in a message of comfort and hope. Thus was made known to Jacob that which met the need and longing of his soul–a Saviour. With joy and gratitude he saw revealed a way by which he, a sinner, could be restored to communion with God. The mystic ladder of his dream represented Jesus, the only medium of communication between God and man.  {SC 19.2} 
     This is the same figure to which Christ referred in His conversation with Nathanael, when He said, “Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” John 1:51. In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God; earth was cut off from heaven. Across the gulf that lay between, there could be no communion. But through Christ, earth is again linked with heaven. With His own merits, Christ has bridged the gulf which sin had made, so that the ministering angels can hold communion with man. Christ connects fallen man in his weakness and helplessness with the Source of infinite power. -
Steps to Christ, P. 19

You may find more studies at In Light of The Cross.