In some places the church is very alive like a beautiful tree, and others it’s an old decrepit leafless pitiful bush..so to say. There was this bush, and it was a sad, pitiful looking bush with no leaves and one or two stems. It looked so bad that I thought about pulling it out by its roots and planting something else. The branches even seemed to break off in my hand. It looked hopeless. But I decided to leave it in hopes that it might grow. Given time and patience, it began to bloom and even blossom. By the end of the summer it had become full with many leaves and stems. Christ still desires to love each just the same, and for that old bush to flourish just like the other. He desires for it to blossom and bloom, becoming full and alive.
Christ loves the church. We hear that all the time but we don’t know what that means. I know I didn’t even understand how much He does. I would speculate, say what was wrong, be terribly critical, blame, and look down on it. I would offer such harsh criticism, and sure it may have been true, but it wasn’t out of love. It was a human fleshly mind simply pointing out what was wrong. The church seemed to be just like that bush – ugly and hopeless.
Christ doesn’t want to simply uproot His love and throw away what He cares for. Yes, the church is more than a bush. It’s His bride. He is jealous of the time that it spends away from him in adultery with Satan. He yearns for it to come back to Him, so that He can show it the love that it deserves, instead of the lies, hurt, pain, despair, and spiritual poverty given freely by her “lover.” He misses the time spent with Him freely in love without strings attached, without worry and with complete trust in Him. He thinks ‘daily,’ and more than multiple times during the ‘day’ about His bride that has gone astray. He patiently waits in the love that only He can show in His completeness for her to come back to Him. He can’t wait for the day when she is with Him in Paradise on that wedding day and for the wonderful celebration to come afterwards.