I chose a sky blue shirt and a bright yellow coffee mug this morning in defiance of the grey, windy day out my window. When I first set foot outside I could smell the ice releasing its grip on the world, but I know it can’t last. It is only February after all. The temperatures are mild for the moment, and in just a few hours the clouds will roll in and bring a fresh layer of clean, white snow to play in. It will be at least a month before we really start to see the melt last longer than a moment or two, but I love the little reminders that you can’t hold back spring.
A few weeks ago I picked up a potted mixed-bulb mini garden. I was desperate for a burst of fresh, bright colour and these shy irises, long daffodils and fragrant hyacinths were ready for their big show! I shelled out the few bucks required and covered them carefully as I carried them to the car in the freezing cold air, hoping they would survive the ride home.
Thankfully, they did. I placed them at centre stage on top of the piano and left them alone to shine. The very next day, the daffodils had grown another few centimetres. Wow I thought. This plant is really bringing its A game! Not to be outdone, the hyacinth pushed itself out so far that it began to lean to the side. I had visions of an old science fiction movie where the unsuspecting lead character buys a lovely plant from a strange old lady and then brings it home only to find it has taken over her house the next morning! The next day I walked past the mini-garden, which was becoming less than mini every day. I stopped and turned around. What in the world?! Two bright yellow and orange tulips were shooting up past the covering of their green leaves.
I had no idea there were tulips in the garden at all!
How was this thing growing so fast? I watched it for a moment, at once realizing it was silly to expect to actually see the plants lengthen before my very eyes. But every time I looked back at it, it was taller, fuller, longer and brighter.
Amazing how things grow when we’re not paying attention. Suddenly, flowers burst into bloom that you didn’t even know were there.
What a truly wonderful surprise.
In John 15, Jesus says that He is the Vine and that we are the branches, and that if we truly want to live, we need to stay connected to Him.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5 NIV)
All the good things we see flowing through our lives are because of Jesus. Any bit of sacrificial love, greater joy, deeper peace, wider patience, extravagant kindness and goodness, steadfast faithfulness, incredible gentleness and self-control are all because of Christ. When we stay connected to the Vine, drawing our source of life from Him, we will experience His beauty overflowing in the most unexpected ways and most surprising places.
Isn’t that just the most incredible thing you’ve heard today?