I was turning 35 and my sweet friend, Joan, showed up at our house bearing carrot cake and a beautiful orchid.
I was so surprised and felt so loved.
We passed out cake to all the kiddoes and lingered for a while over coffee. Joan prayed for me, as only Joan can pray, and then went on her way.
I basked in the love and admired my orchid. I had never had an orchid before, but I knew they were fragile. So, I googled orchid to find out exactly how to care for my orchid.
1. Find a spot with a little light, filtered is best, and leave it there.
2. Leave it there except when you’re watering it. Once a week flood it in the kitchen sink. Let it drain. And then return it to it’s spot.
3. Feed it weekly, but weakly. Not too much fertilizer.
I cared for my orchid so faithfully, and it was beautiful. I kept it blooming for months. Not a single bloom fell off. That should have been the first clue that something was off…
One day, little fingers, or teeth, I can’t remember which, got hold of one of the leaves. The leaf didn’t break off like normal leaves should. Rather, it just kind of bent. And then I got suspicious.
And then I investigated.
The orchid I had been nurturing for months was silk.
I had been watering and feeding a silk orchid!
This is funny and pitiful enough, but it gets funnier. I called Joan to tell her what I had been doing, and she totally thought she had given me a real orchid as well. And we just laughed and laughed.
For some of you, your faith may be a bit like my orchid. You may think it’s real. You may even try to nurture it by going through the motions of going to church, even reading your Bible a little, and praying.
But going to church, reading your Bible, praying … is just like watering a silk orchid, if you don’t have a REALationship with Jesus.
In my Young Life days, we’d ask the high school students, “Does sitting in a garage make you a car?”
Of course not. And sitting in church, or reading your Bible, or praying doesn’t make you a Christian.
Without a REALationship with Jesus, all that activity is just religious activity. You’re watering a silk orchid. It’s a fake. And at some point, crisis will hit and you’ll discover that your faith isn’t real.
A REALationship with Jesus is just what it sounds like. A relationship. Jesus was, and is a real person. He died on the cross, but he was raised from the dead, and is now reigning and ruling at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus is real. He’s alive. And he would love to have a REALationship with you.
If you’ve been watering a silk orchid with all your religious activity and you’re ready for a REALationship with Jesus, I’d love to come alongside you.
I had been “Queen of the Fakers” until I understood that being a Christian didn’t happen by default. I had thought I had a place in heaven because I was a pretty good girl, and I had a pastor for a grandfather. But then, crisis hit. And I had to face that fact that I wasn’t a good girl. Not at all. As painful as it was, God used crisis to show me that I needed more than religious activity. I needed a REALationship with Jesus.
I’d love to hear your story and walk alongside you. If you think you may have been watering a silk orchid and you’re ready for a REALationship with Jesus, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll set up a time to talk by phone. Or if you’re within driving distance of Raleigh, NC, I’d love to meet with you over a latte or lunch and hear your story.
Do you have a story like mine? Did it take crisis to help you stop watering a silk orchid and get into a REALationship with Jesus? Start the conversation by leaving a comment. Or I’d love to get an email from you or connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.