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Archive for April, 2011

Perennial Grace

Every spring when I see the perennial flowers bud in such vivid color against the bleak backdrop of my still overgrown flower bed I am swept with the realization that I just don’t deserve them.  What have I done for these little gems of beauty over the past winter months?

Their internal clocks seem to be set for the time when it seems there is no hope for winter to ever end.  In fact, the crocus find their way through the soil and often through the snow as if to be a reminder that the hope of spring is here.

I am always surprised by the small splash of perennial color, that bit of yellow or purple, and curiously walk over to see what it is.  Every year it is the same routine!

They are so brave to arrive before the threat of frost is over and my heart is warmed, I smile with gratefulness at the undeserved beauty, and begin to watch more closely for more perennials to peek through.

So it is with grace.  When the circumstances are bleak, the day is long, the heart is cold, the mind is unfocused or the emotions are running amuk, God’s grace peeks through the sometimes untended soil of the heart.  He just shows up and I just don’t deserve it. What is that?  Is it God I see in the invitation of a friend that asks me to join her to a concert, or hear in the song of the birds, or notice  in the tear of a friend that is struggling to care for a difficult child?

I begin to look more closely- God’s grace, His reaching out to the helpless created being, becomes more evident.   The more one looks, the more one sees God working around them… which gives rise to the desire to clear the dead away from the plants that have faded in winter and focus on the  splashes of color in the flower bed of one’s heart.

Tending the garden of the heart may mean asking for forgiveness for a wrong committed, or setting the time of quietly reading God’s Word, or asking to meet with a friend and pray, or turning on praise music in the car, or….what is it for you?

Look around you closely for God’s perennial grace, especially when it seems that the winter in your life will never end.  He is close by and desires to be the source of your peace and joy.  Don’t miss the small things He does, say thank you for them and He will become more and more evident in your daily happenings.   And remember what joy it is to share your perennial grace God sightings with a friend. What needs to be tended in your heart to see Him more clearly?

Lord, thank you for the perennial flowers of spring that are a picture of Your perennial grace.  It’s hard to comprehend that the God of all creation perennially desires to make Himself known to me… may I keep watch for Your presence and enjoy your companionship throughout the day.  May I be faithful to clear away the debris in my life that is keeping me and others from seeing Your work and glory.

2 Corinthians 4:13-18

(crocus flower picture by Bethanie Achenbach)

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