Today’s Reading: Acts 14:16-18 NIV
16 In the past, He let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet He has not left Himself without testimony. 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
After what I would consider to be one of the most difficult winter seasons of my life, I have been absolutely awed by the beauty of new life this spring. The colors of spring are more brilliant to me than ever before. No one does green like God. It is the Lord who has saved His very best for last, as I watch in wonder at the beginning of a whole new season.
Every year, I am amazed by the climbing clematis vines on the anniversary trellis Jeff installed for me on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. I always cut the vine back to the ground after the first frost. By then, all of the blooms have faded and quite often, its leaves have crumbled off the vine. We mow it over, and place a fresh layer of mulch to protect its tender root system throughout the cold winter months. One would never guess that this vine could return year after year with such splendor and lasting beauty. Out of no where, deep in the cold, hard earth, new life begins to well up and sprout. Within a few short weeks, the vine has literally taken over our trellis, with brand new growth and big, beautiful purple flowers. This morning, I went outside to count its blooms. There are over fifty flowers opened and just about as many are waiting in the wings. The sparrows love to sit in its shade; occasionally, we get a nest or two lodged within the shelter of its foliage.
I have nothing to do with the rebirth of this beautiful plant year after year. I tend to it, but new life can only come from the One who gives it; the Master Gardener. He does not leave Himself without testimony. How can we not see Him in the beauty of His creative work? When you hold a newborn baby in your arms for the very first time, are you not seeing the face our Lord smiling back at you? When you witness the colors of spring after a long, cold winter, can you not sense the love of the Father for His children?
The greatest gift of new life was given when the Father gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for the world’s redemption. Whenever someone gives their heart to the Lord, a brand new life is birthed deep down inside. We may not see the beauty of the vine at first, but with time and tender care, roots begin to take hold and blossom in the midst of a well-watered faith. How can we miss seeing the Master’s hand alive and at work in His beautiful garden of new life?
Do not look to human hands for the colors of life that surround you today. Stop, and give thanks to the only One who can take what was dead and make it rise up for all eternity. You have been given a great gift this spring. Thank the Father today for the colors of new life that have been birthed in you through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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