Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Life Where Death Reigned

 I never imagined I would enjoy gardening.  Actually, I didn't think I would be very
good at it.  But when Glen pulled up five very unsightly azalea bushes from the front of our house, and planted hydrangeas and miniature gardenias in their place, he started something.  Next came flax lilies, which I have grown to love for their beauty and hardiness.  Caladiums, impatiens and some green plant with white spots that I don't know the name of grace the flower bed in the shade.  Marigolds, knock-out roses and sun-patiens fill in the flower bed in full sun.

I find a great deal of pleasure in the garden. There is something very rewarding about digging about in the dirt, planting some small plant and watching it grow and thrive.  Sometimes it is very difficult too, as when we were out of town in February when the temperatures dipped into the teens.  The thing that was the saddest to me were the flax lilies.  They had survived so much, I thought they would make it through the cold but their black fronds told a different story.  Or so I thought.  

I trimmed away all the dead vegetation from them and then waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Finally, I began to see the tiny light green tips emerging from the soil where the black fronds had been.  It took a while for the flax lilies to come back, but come back they did.  I planted several more in the garden and now I cannot tell by looking at them which were the ones that went through the freeze and which ones are new.

There are such wonderful lessons to learn in gardening.  One learns that something which seems to be trash can be collected and over time turned into the most wonderful enrichment for the soil.  Who would have thought I would rejoice over rotting vegetation?  One learns that almost all flowers need the sun, they will bend and turn their stems to face that which gives them light and life.  One learns that even though something seems hopeless, life can still spring from blackened fronds.

We all encounter instances in our lives of black fronds.  Something seems entirely hopeless.  To us there can be no chance of redemption in the situation.  But with the Lord no situation is beyond redemption.  He is the God of redemption.  He loves restoration.  He specializes in resurrection.  Just because we don't see the new green tips growing from the rhizomes in the soil does not mean they are not there.  We can trust Him in every situation to bring forth some form of life, some goodness, something wonderful, no matter how dark the fronds appear to our eyes.

I was in a singing group in high school, and we sang the song "I Will Serve Thee" by the Maranatha! Singers.  I have always loved the chorus:

"Heartaches, broken people,
Ruined lives are why You died on Calvary.
Your touch is what I long for,
You have given life to me."

This is what our Lord does, He restores, He redeems, He resurrects.

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. . ."
Joel 2:25

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