Hardy indeed when all you have to do is take a cutting, stick it in the dirt, and water it until it roots. Not every plant is so easy. Sometimes you must root them in water. Sometimes you must get a product like Rootone, dipping the ends of the cutting into that powder before you try to root it. But all transplants have this in common—they deserve special care. Transplant shock can claim even the strongest of specimens without it.
The same is true when we convert a sinner to the gospel. Transplanting him from a world of sin to the rarefied air of the redeemed can be more than his system can handle. So he needs special care. Too many times I have seen churches baptize a man then say, “Whew! Now he’s okay,” and leave him standing in the midst of surroundings so alien to him that he withers and dies almost immediately. It may not seem alien to us, but we are used to it. We took root many years ago and now we stand strong and able to endure temptations, trials, and even the mere tedium of life. Why do we expect a cutting from the world to instantly take root and blossom? We treat our garden flowers far better than our new brethren.
Even a cutting described as “hardy” needs daily attention. I expect my Cypress vines to bloom vigorously this time next year. But I don’t expect them to suddenly grow to their usual fifteen feet covered with flaming red flowers before then. Why are we so impatient with our new brothers and sisters in the Lord? It is worth it to take the time with them, nurturing their growth as we would our own gardens, so that we can bask in their beauty just a little while down the road.
Agriculture is hard work. Jesus talked about laborers in his vineyard, not people simply strolling through, taking the tour so they could have a free wine tasting at the end. You don’t get to taste his wine when you don’t work to care for his grapes.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you." Isa 35:3,4.