Spring always makes me think of my dad. I was thinking about him the other day. Nostalgia set in. Thinking how he would have thoroughly enjoyed his three great-granddaughters. My heart ached that they never got to know him.
I thought how much fun they would have had in his greenhouse. Dad had a green thumb, as they say. Well, no, not really. He had green fingers! All of them! Anything he planted always grew.
He could stick any wilting flower, dying plant, or practically dead twig he picked up off the ground into his special blend, water it, fertilize it, put it in the right spot of the greenhouse for the perfect warmth and healing power of the sun, and otherwise coax it back to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.
The secret of his special concoction for nurturing dying plants back to life died with him. I never found out what it was. He left this earth sooner than any of us thought.
I miss my dad. I miss his hugs. I miss seeing him in his jeans and nourishing his fledgling plants.
As I reminisced, I thought about how he and my mom nurtured me as their daughter. I was just like one of Dad’s plants: I was placed into the special blend of people as my family watered me, feed me, protected me, supported me, encouraged me, brought me up in church and to know the Lord, planting the seeds of Christian values with me, and nourished me in every way they knew how, placing me in the right spot for the Son to coax me to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.
They believed in “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6 NKJV) I love the way some other versions state it:
* “Teach a child to choose the right path…” The Living Bible
* “Direct your children onto the right path…” New Living Translation
* “Start children off on the way they should go…” The new New International Version
* “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go…” New Living Version
* “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.” Good News Translation
They taught; I remembered.
And when circumstances hover over me as a black shroud and I feel them sap my strength, leaving me like the wilted flower or the stick lying on the ground, giving up, my heavenly Father comes along, picks me up, and sticks me in His special blend of love, encouragement, and peace, nurturing this fledgling back to health and strength.
The Lord is our Husbandman, the One who knows His soil and purposes to have a harvest. When circumstances hover over you, beating you down, allow Him to do His nurturing in your life, coaxing you back to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.
“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
but You will restore me to life again.”
(Ps. 71:20 NLT)
Today, I’m hooking up with the blog chain for Christianwriters.com. For other great posts on the topic of nurture, please find the list in the right sidebar.