Two years ago I gave my friends Amaryllis bulb kits for Christmas. I even blogged about the experience and called it the Amaryllis Project. It was amazing any of the plants lived, let alone bloomed, given the difficult start I gave them. It was so much fun hearing from my friends as they encountered various degrees of success with the plants, some even sending picture updates to my phone. I decided to do it again this year. Just as the year before, some grew and flowered, some poked through the soil but never bloomed, and some never made it out of bulb stage(or out of the packaging). I had not thought of those plants since Christmas, that is until I got a call from one of my friends yesterday.
She called to share the amazing sight found in her garage. There on a shelf, where she had set both dormant bulbs and their containers, where small growing plants. Yep, both where beginning to grow once more. Neither of them had been in the light or given water for months. One of the bulbs was from the year before and had not been tended to for over a year! Yet there they were, pushing through dry soil and displaying unexpected life.
I can’t help but think of all the times I have been unsuccessful in keeping plants or flowers alive, yet here were two plants doing their best to exist without anyone’s care. My friend pointed out what a great reminder they are that it does not matter what man does, ultimately life is in God’s control.
I think if I had been my friend I would have just tossed the plants as soon as they looked dead and dried up. Sometimes we are quick to give up on ourselves in much the same way, but God sees deeper. He sees the redeemable “bulb” of life He placed in each of us.
These bulbs may have been forgotten and left unattended, but God restored and redeemed them. I too have found myself in need of this same redemption. At times I neglect my walk with my God, fail to nourish my heart with His Word, bury my sin and fade into the crowd around me. Sometimes we feel like we are far away from Him, forgotten and lost under the weight of our life choices, but we have a God who seeks to redeem us. God desires to bring us back from the depths of our sin just as he has unearthed these Amaryllis plants, and just as Christ rose beyond death so that we can be redeemed.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed appearing of the glory of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us that He might REDEEM us…” Titus 3: 13 & 14
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23
Amen! (No comment on the fate of my bulb.)