At our previous home we had a few rose of Sharon bushes. If you are familiar with the rose of Sharon, you know that they are a hardy bush. They are not just hardy, but if you do not keep up with them they quickly become overgrown. It was the end of summer when we had moved into our home and with getting everything ready on the inside of our home, we didn't really get a lot done on the outside. Needless to say, by the next summer the rose of Sharon bushes were easily eight foot tall. They had gotten so over-grown and I decided I just needed to cut them down completely to let them regrow. As the branches began to grow, I found I was able to manage the growth and kept them from getting over-grown again. One poor bush never fully recovered, but the rest ended up looking like the beautiful bushes they were created to be. As I read through the verses in 2 Corinthians 4, I thought about those bushes.
There are things that just seem to knock the life out of us. But, when we put our trust and hope in Jesus, we find how He instead protects us and helps us to grow. 2 Corinthians 4:10 (NLT) says, "Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." The things that can bring destruction are also the very things that God can use to make us grow. When we remember the death that Jesus conquered, we have hope in the eternal life we have in Him. So while death may always be trying to do its work in us, we find that we are rooted in eternal life through Jesus. God will always work His purpose into our lives when we turn our lives over to Him. Just like those rose of Sharon bushes I cut down, God will allow the life of Jesus to take over in our hearts and we will grow into the person God created us to be.
Do you believe that God wants you to regrow so that Jesus shines in you?