In some ways, that bush illustrates what may be true of some of your children, our students. They may appear rather unassuming; yet we know the Bible teaches that if they have been born again, they have been gifted by God. Verses such as 1 Corinthians 12:7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal,” and Ephesians 4:7, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ,” show us that God has given His children gifts and grace. Those whose gifts are not the immediately obvious talents of, for example, academics and athletics, are indeed gifted by God. In God’s perfect time they will display the gifts He has given them.
Our role as parents and educators is to nurture those lives, to strengthen those areas that are weak, and to find and nurture areas of gifting so that like that azalea, they too may burst forth into surprising and encouraging displays of what God has given them. In I Corinthians 1:27 we read, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” That child, that student, who now may seem weak may one day be mightily used of God.