Following Jesus Requires Persistence
Herbs still have a special place in my gardener’s heart. I love to grow them both for their medicinal qualities and their taste in teas.
One of my favorite activities is growing perennial herbs. The thing I like best about these herbs is no matter how many times I cut them back, they just keep sprouting again and producing lush leaves for another cutting. My current favorite is lemon balm. Here in north Georgia, it is so persistent I can make 4 or 5 cuttings every summer. When it first starts to put on side shoots for flowers, I cut the plants back to the ground and dry the leaves for tea. New growth appears in a few weeks, and a few weeks after that, it’s harvest time again.
This is a lot like our lives. The Lord seems to give us a new idea and we try our best to bring it to reality, but so often when it looks like we’ll finally get it to work and bear fruit, something happens to end that cycle. We feel like we’ve been cut off at the root and wonder if we really were following the Lord, or if we misunderstood His will. Do we have as much perseverance as lemon balm when we know we are following Jesus? The lemon balm is so tough it can grow under trees, survive droughts, and has few pests that bother it. Mine has persevered and kept on producing in spite of every adversity it’s met. Are we that determined when we are following Jesus?
The Bible says in Ephesians 6:18, “…Be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”
We are to pray and not give up: follow close to know His will. James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” That’s our goal: to keep praying, following, and persevering until God does his work in us and we are complete, lacking nothing and ready to bear fruit. Never give up. Keep following Jesus.
It’s our choice whether we keep looking for new ways the Holy Spirit is bringing fruitful growth to our lives, or if we give up and quit following. What is your choice going to be?