April 8, 2020 - Flowers

When I woke up this morning, I couldn't help but think about how my wife had labored in her flower beds for the last several days. I thought about the conversations shared between she and her girlfriend have had for the last week or so where they compare notes. So early this morning I decided to go outside and observe the beauty of the trees and flowers that she hold so dearly. I realized after seeing the beauty of the plant life, that spring is here. Daffodils are poking up their heads out of the earth. The red maples, American Redbud, dogwoods, Bradford Pear are glamorous. Perennial plants are springing up all over the place. Dandelions are beginning to peep through the grass. Leaves are quickly giving new beauty and life to the trees in the forest. I could smell the aroma of the cedar and pine trees. In my amazement I said, "Wow, God is an awesome God and a Master Gardener and we need Him for survival. After cogitating for a little while, I couldn't help but think about human survival as compared to plant survival. We both need sun, water and food to continue existing.

In the Bible Hosea 14:5-7, compares plant growth with spiritual growth. Just to mention a few lines: "People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like the vine; like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots." A simple message gained from these verses is we will become well again as a nation and experience the total comforts of God. We will again become a powerful nation because God has spoken and shown us his strength and the depths of his determination to change the hearts of man and woman. Only of course if we become a humble, praying and repenting people. 

Moses used plants to describe the beauty and abundance that would be found in the Promised Land. "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with brooks, streams and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey." Deuteronomy 8:7-8. Even in the midst of this pandemic, we can still declare that God is still blessing us with an abundance of food, friendships, etc.

It is true that we need the sunshine to survive and we receive vitamin D to strengthen our bodies, we also need THE Son to shine and be a beacon of light in our lives right now. (Quote from Susan Nelson)

As I observed the beauty of the cedar and the pine trees, I couldn't help but think about how they had survived the winter months and never changed their color. Now is the time for believers in Christ to be strong and vigilant at all times and not change who we are in Christ because of the crisis we are now facing.

Today, may we be reminded that this is Holy Week and how Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before His crucifixion. Luke 22: 41-44 shares how Jesus went alone to pray and was overcome with grief that, "his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." Isaiah 53:5 predicts that the Messiah would be "crushed for our iniquities." In the garden is where olives were pressed and crushed for their valuable oil, Jesus was also "pressed" by the weight of our sin and the punishment He would soon endure on our behalf." I know that we are feeling pressed, stressed, depressed, etc., but now is the time for us to trust God. Now is the time to let God prune us, cultivate us and fertilize us with His word.

The Master Gardener is now preparing the soil for new life that will bear fruit. It truly is planting season, so why don't we prepare ourselves to sow a seed in someone's life. There is no better time than now.

Not a sermon, just a thought!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor