For the last several years I have planted a garden of vegetables. I typically have grown tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, peppers, okra, and sometimes I get venturesome and try something new. Most years I have had an abundance of tomatoes and they have done well. This year, I am struggling because I planted more tomato. plants than usual. Leaves have started turning yellow at the bottom, some plants have totally wilted, and I am told that they have “the Wilt”.
According to “authorities” on the internet it can be caused by lack of rain, too much rain, or bacteria in the soil. I have my fingers crossed that mine are from too much rain that we recently have had. I planted 21 plants, and have lost four so far. I replanted some yesterday on the opposite end of the garden in case the soil has bacteria.
So Jesus talked about sowing the seed of God’s Word in four different kinds of soil in one of the parables. In three of the soils he mentioned, the plants do not survive. In the hardened soil, the seed never penetrates. In the rocky soil, it dries out in the sun. In the soil with weeds, it is choked. Only in good soil does it bear a harvest. He didn’t mention the “wilt” in that parable, but I couldn’t help but think that sometimes “the wilt” gets people who either are Christians or think they are Christians.
I say it that way because we all know people who start but do not finish. In this community where I serve there are so many people who once attended a church of Christian faith and no longer go. I am not suggesting “going to church” makes you a believer, any more than going to the Moose Lodge makes you a moose. But, I have to wonder if a person does not have enough faith to participate in the life of a church body, do they really have enough faith to get into heaven?
Whether you believe a person can lose their salvation, or whether you hold to the correct view, as I do, that a person who is truly saved is eternally secure, one fact remains. The book of Hebrews teaches clearly that at the end of the journey if you do not have faith, you do not get in. While I believe in the preservation of the saints by God’s Spirit, I also believe in the perseverence of the faith as proof it was real.
So, are you suffering from the wilt. Have you lacked the nourishing “water of God’s Word?” Have you been standing in pools of that water without making application to your life, so the water simply grows stagnant in your life and you wilt? Or is there a bacteria of sin in your heart so that your faith was not real and genuine?