I have these beautiful flowers sitting in my living room.
They are gorgeous and filled with color. And they are dead.
Yesterday I saw a woman I’d known since kindergarten (we grew up as neighbors). She looked great, still as skinny as she used to be, working a great job and living in a great apartment. I walked away with a heavy heart thinking, “but really, she’s dead.”
In my world people are a lot more like flowers than we let on.
Those that are rooted to the source are alive and vibrant. They are growing. They wilt through some seasons and sprout new buds through others. The source of life never runs dry. As long as the flowers are in the ground, they will receive the water from rain and sunlight from above.
The planted flower remains by simply being. The flower did nothing to arrive there in its place in the ground. It does very little to stay alive in the ground… except be, well, exactly where it is.
The planted flower receives everything that gives it life. Both water, sunlight and nutrients come from outside sources. The flower produces life-giving elements to the things around it like, bees. But in order to live, it receives.
All of this is so not the case for the gorgeous lilies sitting on my dining room table, though. Not long ago, they were cut off from the source. I stuck them in what is now becoming stale water, and I will admirably watch them as they die. Depressing, huh? Well, when you put it like that…
This is the plight of the unregenerate soul. It hopes in its beauty and the admiration from the world, while all the while dying. Well, already dead and on the way to dying. That’s the crazy part. An unregenerate soul is living dead (as in “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…following the course of this world,” Eph. 2:1-2).
Flash back to my flowers in the vase. There is virtually no way to bring these flowers back to life. What was done to them when they were chopped at the stems is irreversible. It is only a matter of time. Not so with the souls of people!
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
We were born spiritually dead, on our way to an eternal death called Hell. Not until God intervened by stepping into our world into space and time in the form of Jesus, and taking that punishment of death that we deserved upon himself, did we even have a shot at becoming alive again. But thanks be to God! What He accomplished on the cross is applied to all of us who believe. We can become alive again through Christ.
Only God has the power to bring the unregenerate dead soul to life. I know He can. He did so in me.
"Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart;
Rise to all eternity."
From the hymn, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul"