Devotional – Monday, August 17, 2020

…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ….

Matthew 5:28a

Unlike my mother and my sister, who could push a dry stick into soil and it would leaf out and bloom, I’ve never been very successful at growing plants. I’ve had limited success growing tomatoes in containers and, when we lived in Florida, I rooted a couple of sweet potatoes in water, planted them outside where they spread, and attempted to go under the concrete slab of our house. Mostly though, I have maintained that if I ever joined a garden club, its name would be, “Wilt and Kill.”

After Easter worship at FCC in 2019, I brought my beautiful lily home, enjoyed its blooms for a few more days, and then put it out on the balcony where it withered and turned brown and brittle. At some point, either I or one of the squirrels cut or chewed off the stalks. The pot of dirt baked through summer and almost froze during our few days of winter. Any water provided was when God sent rain.

Sometime in February or March 2020, I thought I spotted green peeking out of the pot. Closer examination revealed that the dead lily was indeed alive and growing. Shortly after seeing this, I began to hear about something called COVID-19 and soon we were locked in. One of my daily activities during this time was checking on the progress of my lily. Based on previous experience, I didn’t dare feed or water it; I simply looked and hoped it would bloom by Easter when everyone wished the plague would be over and we’d be back in church together. Neither happened so I thought, “Okay, this will be over eventually and my lily will bloom sometime,” which it did, producing five gorgeous blossoms on one stalk and fouron another. COVID-19 cases also dropped for a while and we were able to go out.

Now here we are in August, back on self-imposed lockdown and, if we look at the world news, things seem to be getting worse. COVID-19 is rampaging, racial tensions are rising, and the country and world are divided as never before. It is discouraging, but as I watch the hummingbirds who visit our feeder or chase each other through the crepe myrtles blooming outside our balcony, I remember God’s good news: God loves us and God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us. If God cares for an Easter lily belonging to an inept gardener, causing it to regrow and produce beautiful flowers, we know God will take care of us.

Loving God, when we look around, we see your love and care for all your creation. May we remember your promise that if you care for the plants and flowers, you certainly will love and care for us. Help us to trust you. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Offered by Beverly Tipton

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