Grace and peace friends.
Three years ago this spring Lisa and I were at Home Depot. If you turn left when you enter the doors, at many Home Depots you will find yourself in the house plant section. Since it was early spring, still cold and rainy, we were magically pulled into the aisles of lush, green house plants and some “early bloomers” for spring. A display of orchids also caught our eye. Lisa commented that she had always wanted an orchid which we both thought were pretty hard to grow. They were blooming. They were pretty. They were only $9.99. We were tired of winter. We bought one.
We were amazed at how long the blossoms lasted on this plant. As I recall, it was a couple of months. Eventually, they fell off, the stalk got dry and broke off, and all we were left with were green leaves and light green roots. We kept the plant out of direct sunlight, tried to keep it watered (when we remembered), even took it in the bathroom for stints so it could soak up the humidity from showers and baths.
For two and half years the plant did not change. It was kind of discouraging. We thought we had a Home Depot special…one blooming season and done. A few months ago there were signs of life but they fizzled out. A few weeks ago Lisa thought she might throw it out.
A week or so later we notice growth of a new stalk. Then we saw that some buds were forming. This time they stayed and grew swollen. A couple of weeks ago, the first bud exploded to a beautiful blossom. And then another and another and another. All of a sudden, we have a beautiful orchid blooming in our house at the end of the longest winter in recent memory! Such a gift of grace!
I was thinking how often our lives go dormant. We have a period of full blossom and beauty, life and vitality. But eventually it starts to dry up and fade…and before long, it seems, we are just going through the motions. There is little joy. There is less grace. We are doing what we do because it is what we have done but it is without purpose. Whether it be our family or work or spiritual life…it seems like we are on auto pilot. And so often we want to give up, get out, go back…but we keep living day to day with few tangible signs of life as it was meant to be.
And then something happens. Something. Not easily identifiable. We begin to notice potential for new life and beauty. Every simple sign we see encourages us and gives us a thirst for more. We begin to feel it in our bones. Where there was anger, signs of peace. Where there was resentment, signs of contentment. Where there was sadness, signs of joy. Where there was resignation, signs of reconciliation. Where there was malaise, signs of purpose. And, by the grace of God, these signs begin to bud and they come to flower. And we know that our lives have changed, they are different, there is hope and life.
I think the “something” is the grace of God and the spark of the Holy Spirit in every life that whispers to us…enough! There is life if we will look. There is meaning if we will change. There is joy and peace in abundance. Receive it and be blessed.
I want to encourage you today to open your life to the Holy Spirit. Look for God at work in your world. Experience grace. And begin to walk in a new way with new purpose. In the process, i think you will find Jesus.
God bless you richly in these days of spring.