I thought it was ruined. The winter storms of 2010 had dumped mounds of snow on the Forsythia bush that graces our front lawn. The once nicely round plant was squashed with snow, with some of the branches drastically away from the center. I thought for sure when spring arrived that we would have a mangled bush to greet us as the days grew warmer.
However, just a couple of weeks ago I was very pleasantly surprise to see that the bush had recovered quite well. In fact, it sort of looked a bit fuller and better than in previous years. As I was writing this in advance, its typical yellow flowers started to show. Such an amazing comeback!
While both the snow and the ability of the bush to bounce back could be said to be part of nature, God, of course, is behind it and brings to mind an important lesson found in Hosea 6:1-3, "Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."
While part of verse one sounds like the meanness of God, it is really the mercy of God. Prophesying through Hosea God indicated that trouble upon trouble came upon Israel due to their waywardness that they might grow weary of their repetitious sinning and turn unto Him. Had He not sent trouble their way they would have continued in sin to the point where they would have been totally deluded and completely numb to any drawing influence of God's Holy Spirit.
Sometimes sin just really does a person in. Nonetheless, if we are willing to turn to Christ and fully trust Him, Christ will fill us with abundant life and cause to rise from the ashes of ruin and flourish in Him.
By forsaking sin and trusting Him, Christ living within us will heal us, bind up that which was broken, lead us in life-giving light, and prepare us to receive His rains of blessings that we may continue to truly live and flourish in Him.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates of rubies, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD, and great shall be the peace of thy children." --- Isaiah 54:11-13
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