I have been avidly growing succulents in my yard for several months and enjoy the variety of colors, water conserving properties, and low maintenance. It was the latter that captured my attention since I definitely do not have a green thumb, more like gangrenous. For the first few weeks, I was encouraged by how quickly the dozens of succulents adapted to their new home. Yet, as did my daily inspections of the plants, I was dismayed that one was not doing as well, leaves shriveling and discolored. I perused numerous internet discussion boards and did some of the interventions that were suggested. However it was to no avail and within a month, only a few petals were left. Perhaps it was a fungus or parasite? Perhaps it was already dying when I purchased it? I don’t know but I was quite dejected. Of the nearly hundred succulents I had planted, this was the only one I lost in spite of my directed efforts.
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 15:4-7 (ESV)
God devotes extra time with His children who are lost. Who are they? All of us. We are all lost sheep, sinners who, by our own efforts, are helpless to escape our fate of certain death and eternal separation from Him. God knows this and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins. But unlike my hapless efforts to save my plant, God will never stop. He will speak to us through His Holy Spirit, He will send brothers and sisters in the Lord to encourage us, and He will guide us into situations that will encourage us to see His grace and mercy.
My dying succulent could not respond to me but we can by repenting of our sins and returning to the sweet fellowship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.