Story by D. Anne Jones
As anyone who knows me can testify, I am the typical mother who frets and worries about my children. I look at them in horror some days, tattoos and piercings looking me in the face, and wonder where I went wrong! I am dealing with that right now in my own life, but God is working with me to encourage me to have hope. I have five kids, ranging from seven to twenty-one, so I am looking at the older ones and marveling — what happened to all that good stuff that I put inside them all those years? (like common sense and a love for God) Where IS it? God recently shared a little nugget with me, and I will share it now with you. Hopefully, it will help someone else who is struggling with the same problems.
I was visiting a church that I do not belong to, and the pastor was teaching on the concept of planting seed into good, fertile soil, then watering and sunning and fertilizing the plant so that it can bear good fruit. (Luke 8:5-8) The Lord reminded me of something I learned about the poinsettia plant. If you take a poinsettia and put it into a dark closet, it becomes dormant. Then, two months before Christmas take the plant out and put it in the light. It will begin to rejuvenate, and leaves will grow, then flowers will bloom!
Our children can be like that sometimes. We have planted the seed, watered, sunned and fertilized those tender shoots, and yet they somehow remain in the darkness and do not bear fruit! All it takes is that special person or incident to bring them back into the light, and they will again begin to grow and be nourished, eventually flowering into a wonderful blossom that brings joy to the Lord and others.
As a matter of fact, my own mother pointed out to me recently that not all of her children went the route she had hoped they would! She and my father wanted all five girls to graduate from college and have careers before marrying and having children. Not a ONE of us went that route! Yet now that we are all over forty, she can see that we are happy and productive individuals who have wonderful families and each one of us has a spiritual life that brings us contentment. What more could a mother want? Mom laughed when I said that, but admitted that when all is said and done, that is truly what matters.
So, maybe I WAS dormant for a few years there, and didn’t even realize it! Maybe God had to send people and situations into my life to shed some light, and if He was good enough to do that for me, I suppose I can trust Him with my own children! I hang on to that hope, and realize that I may not be the one who gets to reintroduce the light, but I get to witness the rejuvenation someday! “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it!” Pr. 22:6