A tomato plant, a cord, and a lesson on faithfulness.

A tomato plant, a cord, and a lesson on faithfulness.

Harvest was plentiful. Luscious, scarlet globes hung in abundance. But now? Now my tomato plants are beginning to look scrawny. Summertime nourished them and they thrived, but now summer is exiting, giving birth to fall.

Chilly mountain mornings threaten the fruit on the vine and the once sturdy stalks bow to the weight of their burdens, no longer strong from the warmth of summer’s sun.

Although the tomatoes are threatened, although the season of thriving has passed, fruit remains that is yet to ripen.

With cord, I bind up the weakened stalks attaching them securely to wooden stakes. Supporting. Strengthening. Preventing them from breaking and insuring the ripening of the remaining fruit.

I am not one to give up.

Neither is Jesus.

Isaiah spoke a Messianic word about God’s coming Servant to the people of Israel who were discouraged and felt defeated:

“A broken reed He will not break [off]
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish [He will not harm those who are weak and suffering];
He will faithfully bring forth justice.

“He [those who are bruised] will not be disheartened or crushed [in spirit];
[He will persevere] until He [the Messiah] has established justice on the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” ~ Isaiah 42:3-4, AMP

Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would bring forth justice to the enemies of His people, He would encourage the bruised, and He would not give up until His work in them is done.

I love that the eyes of the Lord roam to and fro across the earth seeking those who need to be encouraged and strengthened — those whose heart is completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9).

I love that those who are broken, battered, and bruised He will not break off and cast away. When we are weak and suffering, dim with discouragement and sadness, He will not extinguish our light.

I love that when, as the Master Gardner, He sees us bending under the weight of our burdens, He comes alongside and binds us with His strong cord to the old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame, where resurrection power is birthed.

When life transitions into new seasons and the transition is amuck with awkwardness or uncertainties … when once hearty fruit served His people well and now hangs scrawny on the vine … Jesus steps in with cord in hand and binds us securely to Himself as we await the resurrection power of a new season.

Selah