For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:17
It was paradise lost. I’m not sure why it happened. And I’m not sure how it happened…but it did. Over the years, we had accumulated a great collection of large tropical plants to accent our patio during the summer. Our guests love our garden, and I suppose they loved our plants too. But then something happened. You see, to keep them alive through the winter, we would move them into our garage and nurse them during the cold weather. We would install special lights, water them, and learn to squeeze our car in-between them. It was a hassle, but we did it…until we didn’t
This year, well, we didn’t. It all started when we had a light frost early in the season and since Judy was gone…I just didn’t mess with it. That’s the bad news. The good news is that somehow, they survived. Since it happened on my watch, I breathed a sigh of relief. Well, apparently that opened a pandora’s box because when the next frost came, and I believe it was on my watch again, I found a reason to throw caution to the wind. Once again, they survived and so did I.
Fast forward a little while later and we were deeper into fall and nudging winter. With Judy back, the plants were in safer hands. When the temperatures threatened to move from frost to freeze, we braved the cold wind and move them inside displacing the car to the fate of the cold. Well, sure enough, it warmed up again and out they came. Well, if you are regular Grits reader, you know we recently went on a cruise. We knew the forecast called for a couple of cold mornings, but we were pressed for time, and we just couldn’t think of anyone to gather the plants in for us…so we left them to their fate.
Sure enough, it froze and so did they…all of them. At first, it wasn’t too bad but then it was. Some quickly, some slowly began to show the damage of a freeze on something that was never meant to see it or feel it. Some leaves wilted and some turned dark brown. The result was paradise lost. What was once beautiful how looked like a tropical war zone. It also meant that there is a lot of whacking and cleaning up to do. It is sad in a way but wait, there is a silver lining.
You see, first, there is going to be a lot more room in my garage this winter. Yay. It also means that come spring there is going to be a fresh start…a new beginning. Yes, there will be a cost involved…there usually is for new beginning…when something is reborn. But it will be worth it. Several of the plants were showing their age and the new will be fresher than the old. It.Will.Be.Worth.It.
You know God said the same thing about us, don’t you? You know that God knew we needed a lot more than a time in the “garage,” we needed a fresh start, a new birth and yes, it came at a great price. It meant there had to be a Christmas and there had to be an Easter. It meant His Son leaving heaven for a stable and a feeding trough and it meant a rugged Roman cross, a horrible death but gratefully…also a resurrection. It meant we could go from eternal death to eternal life—that we could go from war to peace—that we could call Him…wait for it…Father. But all that was possible only after the price was paid. Like the song says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, but He made it white as snow.”
White as snow. From death to life. How amazing is that? Soon, very soon, I will scour the yard and remove the death…preparing for spring and new life. I’m going to look past the present and look forward to the new…to spring. And, if your world looks a little like my backyard with more dead than alive, just remember that God waits to bring new life into your life. He said in John 3:17 that His Father didn’t send Him to condemn the world but rather through Him we, you, could be saved…rescued…redeemed.” That is good…that is really good. So, no matter the mess, write it down…He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne