Dear Pastor's Wife

Dear Pastor’s Wife: The Things We Render Dead

Dear Pastor’s Wife,

You need some encouragement today? I thought so. Well, here’s a neat story of something that happened in my life lately, which I hope will lift your heart just a little.

I bought a couple of poinsettias a few weeks before Christmas- so our home would be graced with fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are my favorite, no matter what kind they are or what time of year they bloom. Well, as expected, these poinsettias did their work of brightening up my kitchen and dining room for several weeks. Their vibrant color were a brilliant asset to my decorations, and I even remembered to water them. This is significant, as I typically do not have a green thumb when it comes to indoor plants.

Well, true to my brown thumb, my poinsettias began to droop, their color less vibrant and their leaves giving up the strain of hanging on. I watered my plants in hopes of reviving them, but to no avail. So, a few days after Christmas,  when all the rest of the decor had come down, I decided it was time to remove the poinsettias also.

Only- they had just enough life in them to make me feel bad at the thought of tossing them out. So after I set up my winter mantel, I moved the poinsettias into the living room to dwell by the fire. I said to my husband, “These plants are dying, so I’m just moving them in here for a few days until they are finished.” I didn’t want to throw them away until they were completely dead.

Imagine my surprise as the weeks went by. WEEKS. As in, my poinsettias came back to life. There, by the warmth of the fire, they flourished. They put out new green leaves, and their waning red leaves became vibrantly red again. A new lease on life! My brown thumb gazed in wonder (and started turning a little bit more green.)

What could it be, I wondered….was I watering them too much? Were they simply getting too cold in the other part of the house? Did they need a different kind of lighting?

I don’t really know, and I haven’t taken the time to research it. But…. I just can’t stop thinking about the things we render dead in life and ministry….and how they can stay that way for a very long time.

In the process, we forget that our God is all powerful and that He is the God of miracles and the One Who redeems and reconciles. And the One Who has the ability to pour new life into anything. ANYTHING.

The dead future.

The dead relationship or friendship.

The dead dream.

The dead ministry.

The dead hopes.

The dead financial situation.

The dead medical situation.

The dead end.

The dead prayer.

The dead _______________________. {You fill in the blank}

Many times when we render or resign something  as dead,  we walk away from it-  grieving, stinging, cringing. We know we’ve tried everything we can think of to nurture situations back to health, and when nothing works, we render them dead- unable to change or be changed.

Time goes by. Weeks, months, years, decades. A lifetime, perhaps.

And then- a tiny blush of green. A pouring in of grace. A hand, tending the dead thing. The hand of the Gardener.


As I write, my mind is flooded with examples from Scripture of people and situations that were rendered dead. Until Christ. So many instances-  I can’t even choose one to highlight. Take some time to medicate on them yourself, and see if your mind is not flooded as well.

Then theres’s Christ Himself- the One Who was the shoot out of the stem of Jesse- the stump that was left for dead. The promise come to life. Redemption in the flesh. The Life Giver and Creator of Life. The Resurrection. The LIFE. And perfectly timed.

In the irony of God’s ways, physical death equals victory for the believer. Death to self brings spiritual life. God delights in breathing new life into hopeless and helpless situations.

I’ve experienced this very recently, and it has left me in awe of the fact that God works simultaneously in the past, present, and future. He is the Restorer, the Peacemaker, the Miracle worker.

The things in your past are not water under the bridge. Your last ministry that shattered your heart isn’t just a sad story that’s now part of your history. The people that betrayed and criticized and hurt…they aren’t just names on a shelf with the label of “self proclaimed enemy.”

God is still working there.

In that place.

In that situation.

In that person.


So….the things we render dead? Are only seemingly dead when we have Christ. Will we see Him bring new life into every area of life that seems dead during our lifetime? Probably not. But we will each see some things come back to life. And the culmination of our lives in heaven and the eternal life we enjoy with Christ and each other will be an ushering in of new life that our minds cannot begin to fathom.

What hope!

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:25-26

The pointed question came to Martha, even as it comes to you,  and to me:

Do you believe this?


A Kindred Spirit

3 thoughts on “Dear Pastor’s Wife: The Things We Render Dead

  1. This was so encouraging to me. Our last ministry ended abruptly in great hurt and broken dreams, and as a result we are currently not even in the ministry. We wonder if God has put us in this place forever, and as we pray for contentment and peace working in secular jobs, we mourn that it seems that our past ministry life truly is dead. This gives me hope!

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