I don’t have a green thumb. I’ve never been interested in plants, so I haven’t taken the time to delve into the world of foliage. When I’m faced with a crisis concerning the two plants I own, I have to consult the web or a friend. But one thing I do know without being told: if I don’t water my plants, they will stop bearing fruit and eventually die.
A relative gave me a spider plant some months ago. It did great in my dining room but eventually started to droop for an unknown reason. I consulted a friend, who advised me to put it on the porch and water it daily. Lo and behold, after a couple of weeks, the plant began to look healthy again. It even started to sprout new growth! Why? Because I had put it in a healthy environment and kept it hydrated so it could thrive.
Our lives are much the same. We all need to be watered to thrive in life. God has placed in us the need for spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional hydration. Without physical water, we would die physically. But there is also a “water” that causes us to flourish when our spirits and souls receive it. When that water is received, we advance in life, producing the fruit God always intended us to have (John 15:16). That fruit enables us to pass on hydration to others.
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name (John 15:16, NLT).
Watering anything is an investment—knowing that what we put into something is what we’ll get out of it. It’s seeing the value in the “plant” and providing what it needs to flourish.
The First Gardener
God—the first Gardener—set the first example of investment by watering. He created a mist to water the earth He created (Genesis 2:5-6). Then He watered the first man by providing a woman to be his help mate (Genesis 2:18). Following their creation, God developed a relationship with the first man and woman through fellowship in the garden (Genesis 3:8-9).
Adam and Eve weren’t the only ones to enjoy God’s investment. All through the Bible, God reached out to people and other nations, inviting them to know Him through acts of power, grace, and mercy. Ultimately, He sent the most significant investment of all—His precious Son, Jesus.
Thankfully, God didn’t stop watering after Jesus went back to heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, provided the gifts of the spirit to empower us, and gave the fruit of the spirit to help us be like Him (John 16:7, Acts 2, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 5). The Holy Spirit is our water.
In the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39, ESV).
God didn’t leave us floundering, trying to do life with our own ability. He knew we couldn’t do anything without His input—His water. The spiritual water He sent impacts us spiritually and emotionally because, without a strong spirit, everything else becomes weak.
We all have gardens, even if we don’t have plants growing on our patio or vegetables thriving in our backyard. Instead of physical foliage, they come in the form of relationships. Though we need to be good stewards of our daily responsibilities, God and people are the most important recipients of our water.
God is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need our affirmation to feel valuable. He could survive without us. But our relationship with Him would not survive unless we watered it daily. Like any relationship, we need to give Him our attention—not just to get, but to give. We minister to Him through worship, reading His Word, and serving Him through obedience. Each act brings life to our relationship and causes it to flourish as He always intended.
Other people need our water as well. Our first watering priority is our spouses and children. God has also put other people in our lives that need our investment—our brothers and sisters in Christ and a world that has yet to hear about Jesus. Even those under our supervision at work, church, and other ministries need our investment to reach their full potential—physically and spiritually. That investment could include thorough training, prayers, biblical encouragement, and a listening ear.
The beautiful thing about watering is that we will always receive in return what we give. This principle began when God first began to water the world. It works in the natural and the spiritual and is called the principle of sowing and reaping (Genesis 1:24a, NIV; Genesis 1:28a, NIV).
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38, NKJV).
God will not forget our investments. Never will He ask us to water someone else’s life without the promise that we will be watered in return—with multiplied value. He will ensure that His principle of sowing and reaping is accomplished in our lives. He may send people to pray for us or help us financially in times of need. He may inspire a minister to share His Word when we need encouragement. He may send someone from another country to be our friend and confidant. And when we spend time with Him and His Word, He will pour into us something we could never pour into ourselves.
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Hebrew 6:10, NKJV).
Even Jesus experienced this principle. He was the greatest act of watering the world will ever know. But though His investment was painful at first, He received a greater return. By giving His life, He gained billions more people into His kingdom. The watering was worth it.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2, NLT).
We’re called to follow Jesus’ example. Like we would never consider stopping watering our plants, we should never get tired of watering our relationships and God-given assignments. But if we feel ourselves going dry, we can draw from the reservoir of water placed in us through the Holy Spirit. With refreshed investment, we will reap what we would never receive if we hadn’t watered.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9, NLT).
The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered (Proverbs 11:25, NASB 1995).