Tuesday, August 23, 2022

 A Strange Plant with a Lesson

I have a plant that I bought on a whim - - I don't know the name of it .  I planted it in a patio flower box and it immediately reached out and grabbed hold of the patio railing spindles and curled its way up.  
I was wondering why some of  its leaves kept turning yellow since I knew it had enough water and the rest of the leaves looked green and healthy.  So I picked the yellowed leaves off, hoping the plant would thrive to where its leaves would no longer yellow and die. 
BUT ... the plant did not flower and I knew it bloomed because the little starter plant I bought did have a pretty, white with a purple center flower on it. 
Then I got busy and did not remove the 'dead' leaves from the plant for a few days and I made a surprising discovery.   The 'dead' looking leaves were not leaves at all but were the actual flower buds.   They opened into the pretty blooms!   How silly I felt that I had been picking off the buds and then complaining that my plant was not blooming !!  

But what an insightful  analogy this presented !  
I thought about how we all encounter experiences that we would so gladly have avoided. Accidents, health issues, disasters, emotional pain, disappointments, hardships, financial losses, etc.  We can all compile a personal list.   
If we could  we would have removed these from our life before they happened ... BUT what if these less-than-desired things in our lives are actually the buds that produce the 'blooms' in our character and in our relationships with God and bring about the blessings we so love?

I think of Joseph.  I'm sure he would have quickly removed the 'dead leaf' of being thrown into the pit and then sold by his brothers to the slave traders -  but would he then have 'bloomed' as ruler of Egypt saving many from starvation?
I think of Esther.  How quickly she would have removed the 'dead leaf' of being taken into the King's harem ... but if she had, would she have 'bloomed' as the favored Queen and savior of her people?
I think of the apostle Paul.   He would gladly have removed the 'thorn in his flesh'.  But God explained to him that it was there so he would 'bloom' in his ministry... saving him from the pride that would have destroyed him. 

I think of Jesus Himself.  He would have removed the 'dead leaf' of suffering the horrific death by crucifixion, It is here that he proves how 'human' He was - He begged God - if it were possible - the remove the 'dead leaf'  of suffering that filled his soul with dread.  Luke 22:22-24
 and YET - He understood -- he knew that the 'dead leaf' was necessary for Him to fulfill His purpose  - to sacrifice Himself for the ones He loved. 
He knew that the 'bloom' was coming .. He said ... "for the joy set before Me I will endure the cross." He knew what looked 'dead'  would rise and open into beauty that would save all who called on His name.  The thought of the 'blooming' to come'  filled his heart with joy! 
 Hebrews 12:2

Are the difficult things that come into our life easy ?  No... they weren't for Jesus, they won't be for us... but we have the promise that He will carry us through and the 'joy' will come. 
So let us learn patience, holding onto the promise that nothing in our life is for naught, but all things WILL work out for good, because 'JESUS SAID SO !"  Romans 8:28 .. 
Even Jesus longed for the support and comfort of His dear ones.. but they were not there for Him.. so Jesus understands what it is like to feel alone in our difficulties.. but He will never forsake or leave us -- and we know how important it is to support with our love and prayers those who are going through a difficult time. 

 Remember ... God doeth all things well ... even the things we do not understand!  

1 comment:

ellen b. said...

So much to learn about our Savior and God. May we continue to learn to die to self and live for our God and Savior. Thank you Julie!