13 December 2013

Flowers for Your December

I think there might be some of you who haven't been in weather above freezing for a while.  For some of you, that means lovely snow to use under your cross country skis.  For others of you, the white stuff is merely in the sky, or in the fog you might have had right up to your very door.  Or maybe some of you had enough cold for water to turn solid on top of ponds and under skates.

Some days, I think that sounds nice.  The weather cools down a little, with maybe a high of fifty or sixty instead of eighty, and I get in the mood to bake, or work on cozy projects around the house, and pretend I live in a place where winter means coats, hats, and scarves.

But in reality, that's not what winter means for me this year, and since I thought maybe some of you were missing the sweet colors of flowers, domestic and wild, I decided to share some living things in hopes that they will brighten your December, just a bit.

Can you imagine a little bird living up there, nested all comfortably in the middle of a thorn tree?  I think this little bird was a brave mother.  I've noticed lots of thorn bushes (in addition to cacti) here.  They always make me think of Jesus, and what He did for me.  I can't say I like it very well when I get the slightest poke from any of these as I walk past them, and I'm careful to avoid them at all costs.  Yet He endured big, nasty thorns, driven into His head, all because He knew if He made the slightest complaint or gave up in the middle of that dreadful day, I would be lost forever.

This little cactus fruit is no bigger than the end of my thumb.  They look similar to prickly pear fruits, on a much smaller scale, although their parent plants are nothing like the prickly pear's parent plant.  

Have you ever eaten a prickly pear?  They call them tunas in Spanish, and you can sometimes buy them ten for a dollar at the flea market nearby.  They're sweet, juicy, full of seeds, and just the refreshing touch at the end of a meal.  I think they're especially nice when my husband juices them for me, so I don't have to navigate through all the seeds.

We wondered if these tiny cactus fruits are edible, too, but we thought they might be a lot of work to peel and prepare.

We always look forward to the chance Sabbaths give us to go outside, and enjoy the things God has made.  I'm not perfect at it, but since the first Sabbath was a day to enjoy the fullness of creation, I like to take my Sabbath moments in nature to remember my Creator's delightful genius in all the things that He made.

All these vivid shades of color come from the same plant, the same cluster of flowers, even.  It doesn't seem quite real to me to have these colors outside in December, of all months.

As beautiful as all nature's floral gems are, can you imagine what they might be like in heaven?  I know many people believe there is nothing wrong with our world, and that God would have no reason to make it fresh and new.

Yet God Himself, through the Bible, promises the exact opposite.  After all, Adam only began the battle against thorns and thistles in his garden after he knowingly sinned against God (Genesis 3:17-19).  John, as he's viewing centuries' worth of events leading up to the second coming and beyond, talks about the old earth being completely made anew (Revelation 21:1).  God Himself says, "'Behold, I make all things new.'  And He said unto me, 'Write: for these words are true and faithful,'" (Revelation 22:5).

If these were the only words in Scripture telling us the world is not the way God originally intended it to be, and that He would make everything new, they are certainly clear enough for us to put full confidence in them, without shadow of doubt.  But there are many more such statements and promises throughout the Bible--so many, I can't list them all here, tonight.

This week, as the Sabbath opens afresh, I'm reveling not only in the remnants of beauty God has put beside the paths I walk, but also in the lovely thought that they are but shadows of what He has in store for me when Jesus comes to receive His own.

May that day be soon!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the lovely December greetings. Our ice melted today, and we are glad.


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