Although not part of my trip to Japan, in a spirit of peace and goodwill, I would like to share this Christmas thought because Christmas brings hope and happiness around the world. Happy Holidays to all!
My lovely garden flowers took a hit with the recent passing of a couple hard frosts. The flower garden now displays itself in various hues of brown although with the occasional surviving bloom hidden to all but the diligent looker. Now, brown isn’t a bad color; but in the garden setting brown indicates the fun of the garden is over for a while. Some plants die with the first frost of winter (annual-type plants) while some (perennial-types) simply go dormant, ready to grow back at the coming of spring.
With the brown garden in mind, join me for just a moment while I dig deep and pull up a lesson learned from the garden.
Sometimes life hits us with a “hard frost”. Sometimes we feel more like an annual plant, not so confident that spring will ever return. Sadly for some folks spring doesn’t come back, and the hard frost covers them forever. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The garden teaches me that our God is Hope, Love, Patience, Providence and Strength. I’ve learned that if I lay the hard frosts of my life at Jesus’ feet, that I can also trust Him to bring me through winter and make spring come again to my life. Jesus gives new life.
With Christmas season upon us, I am reminded (as with the garden) that even within the depths of winter grows a season of good will, celebration and new life, gifts from God that spring forth to refresh, revive and renew. As a gardener (from a Christian perspective), Christmas seems like a combination of an annual and a perennial to me. We celebrate the season annually and then it goes away; but it tells a perennial story, a message present all year, every year, for all people, about renewed life for those who look to Jesus. We can be joyfully expectant and ready to welcome His special gift of new life just like a gardener joyfully welcomes the first new growth of spring.
The Wise Men, astronomers in the Christmas story, believed a great event had happened (the birth of special King) by what they knew about an unusual event happening among the stars in the sky. Not giving up, they patiently followed a special star, looking expectantly, and sure enough, found this newborn King. Like the Wise Men, I learned from gardening to be patient, watchful and expectant for the new growth God promises will come, new life to bring an end to any “winter” of sadness. It might take a little time, and that’s okay. Winter is a longer season in some of life’s places than it is in others, but God promises His garden can grow anywhere, and spring will come.
May this Christmas be special for you.