I know many of you garden and don’t kill plants as often as I do.
It’s not intentional, but to give you an idea of my ‘black’ thumb, when my kids were small, they would frequently join me, painstakingly selecting the next green ‘family’ member. At least welcoming the plant to the family is what I thought they were doing as they would give it a name on the way to the car.
I must not have been listening. Or didn’t realize the girls were not talking to each other, but to the new plant. I decided to start a new hobby right after I heard this conversation:
“Oh, you poor plant.”
“Yeah, Ferny, we hate to tell you this, but you’ve prob’ly got about 48 hours to live.”
Anyway, with this background, you’ll understand the scene today: I brought home a daisy in a container (it’s not that I don’t give up, it’s that it was cheaper than a bouquet!). As I reached for empty pottery from the south window shelf to protect the table from the open-holed container, I was dismayed to notice the condition of a flowering Kelanchoe a friend had given me at Christmas. All the flowers were dried and drooping and several leaves appeared to have portions of transparency. It must have frozen.
Not wanting to traumatize the daisy, I whisked the poor Kelanchoe out if sight to the sink and began surgery: gingerly removing the dead buds, and damaged leaves, and was about to give the dried-up dirt a drink – just in case it decided to live with me a bit longer.
Imagine my surprise, as I lifted the bottom leaves to pour the water in, to find some delicate new buds and flowers… Despite all those signs of death – below that dismal outlook was new life! Tears rose up as I was reminded of Isaiah 41 telling how God plans to put unexpected life into the deserts of Israel that others will see and know that God was there and it was He who had done this – and I’m thinking it’s a reminder that He has hidden blossoms in my desert too.
Isaiah 41:14… Don’t be afraid. Feel like a fragile insect, Israel? I’ll help you.
I, GOD, want to reassure you.
The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
Isaiah 41:17-20 The poor and homeless are desperate for water,
their tongues parched and no water to be found.
But I’m there to be found, I’m there for them,
and I, God of Israel, will not leave them thirsty.
I’ll open up rivers for them on the barren hills,
spout fountains in the valleys.
I’ll turn the baked-clay badlands into a cool pond,
the waterless waste into splashing creeks.
I’ll plant the red cedar in that treeless wasteland,
also acacia, myrtle, and olive.
I’ll place the cypress in the desert,
with plenty of oaks and pines.
Everyone will see this. No one can miss it—
unavoidable, indisputable evidence
That I, GOD, personally did this.
It’s created and signed by The Holy of Israel.