As I sit here at our kitchen table eating breakfast, my eye catches the orchids that are on our windowsill. My husband gave them to me quite a while ago, but after some time, all the beautiful flower petals fell off and the stems were bare. I considered throwing the plant away and getting another one that was already blooming. Instead, a friend recommended that I nurture it and wait, because it was still alive and would bloom again. “Okay,” I thought, “I’ll just see what happens.” So I did a little research and found that orchids thrive on dryness and will drown with too much water. I also learned that repotting an orchid helps to give it more nutrients, and that some of its roots can actually grow above ground.
So I waited. My poor plant was so bare and ugly that I couldn’t wait for those petals to sprout. I wanted to see some progress of something beautiful. I only gave it a little bit of water once a week and patiently waited to see if it would die on me or not. I’d also learned that orchids need indirect sunlight, so I put it in the perfect spot that would give it just enough. I gave it everything that I needed in order to survive and bloom again.
It took about two months, but eventually, I started to see grass sprouting out, so I knew it was still alive and growing. Then a new stem came out of the leafy base and some buds started forming on the growing stem! Finally, a petal poked out of the bud and I watched as beautiful yellow flowers bloomed on my plant…the plant that I was so ready to give up on…the plant that looked dead on the outside and not very promising. Little did I know that after much nurture, patience, and faithful watering my orchid would bloom with twice as many beautiful flowers as it had before! I was so proud of it!
Similarly, with our bus routes and Sunday school classes during a “dead” time, God is working on hearts and has a plan that we may see much fruit after it is over. It may seem like our routes and classes have ceased and all the past hard work is lost. But I truly believe that, just like my orchid, God will bring the church back to life twice over! We must continue to stay faithful, patient and willing to nurture what we do have. We cannot give up on the greatest ministry that aids in bringing the most lost souls to Christ. Just like my husband has encouraged our church’s bus workers, we must continue to pray, contact, and prepare for when the buses CAN go back out and pick up kids for church.
During this “dead” time, our church children are getting minimal-to-no biblical teaching, but we may not even know how God is using that “little” amount of prayer or contact to reach their hearts. Eventually, there will come a time when the church will bloom again, and we will see that this “dead” time truly was a time of renewed life!
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Cherith Flood born and raised as a missionary kid for her entire childhood in mainland China. Cherith’s family first heard of the ministries of North Valley Baptist Church through KNVBC – Revival Radio when her family would play it often. She attended and graduated from Golden State Baptist College in 2017. She is currently involved in the bus, music, and deaf ministries. Cherith and her husband have two children, Juliette and Joel.