How’s your hope today? Is it well nourished and flourishing or looking a bit puny? Don’t be discouraged. God can take the broken and make it beautiful once more.
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:14 -NIV
I am a big fan of asparagus ferns. I love their wispy fronds, and the whimsical way they flutter in the breeze. They are quite resilient, tolerating a mix of sun and shade, but I guess I didn’t realize just how resilient they really are. Until this spring, that is.
Each spring, in my backyard garden, I place three hanging baskets of asparagus ferns on the swing set that houses my porch swing. They love it there and grow like crazy. Last fall, while we were traveling, one of those ferns took flight in a storm and crashed to the ground. Arriving home, I found it on its side, the pot cracked beyond repair. From the looks of it, it had been lying like that for awhile. In fact, it looked down right puny!
Frowning at my once beautiful plant, I grabbed an old plastic pot, threw in some fresh potting soil and transplanted the sad looking fern. I didn’t have much hope. It was November after all. A rebound seemed unlikely.
As has been my habit for the past couple of winters, I nestled the transplanted fern along the brick wall of my carport, placing the other two hanging baskets alongside. Surprisingly, the ferns have survived the winters there with only once a week watering. Now, they do require a haircut in the spring to remove the dead branches, but to my continual amazement, green fronds remain despite the winter chill.
I didn’t have much hope for my puny little friend, but I watered and encouraged it with pep talks all winter. Maybe it liked my encouraging words because when it was time for the spring haircut session, I was shocked to find a wealth of green growth under the dead stalks. To my further amazement, that beaten up plant looked far better than its counterparts. Those plants had so much dead on them that my dear friend and me had to take a hatchet to them and perform major surgery.
But the transplanted fern simply took off, shooting out new green stems right and left. I moved it to my front porch in a nice shady spot and offered it Miracle-Gro as a reward for good behavior. Its response was to keep churning out new growth, getting more beautiful by the day. When my dear husband kindly installed a drip irrigation system for me, the once battered and broken fern went wild.
It’s now the prettiest fern I have ever grown by a long shot! I love to sit next to it and run my fingers through its thick lush greenery. Instead of being sharp and prickly like most asparagus ferns, it feels silky smooth to my touch. It is simply pouring forth new growth, its branches overflowing its pot and poking through my porch railing.
As I sat in my rocker the other morning running my fingers through my gorgeous fern, I thought about the transformation of transplantation. With the right mixture of rich soil, water and light, that almost dead plant was brought back to life. That which was battered and broken became beautiful once more.
It can happen with us too. In the hands of Jesus, our battered and broken souls can be restored. In Him, we become a new creation. Our old sinful ways can be cut off and cast out making room for new life, new hope, a fresh start.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. Jesus stands ready to forgive. For those who are willing to believe, Jesus will receive. Jesus will redeem. In the loving hands of Jesus, resurrection is possible, both in this life and for the one to come.
Friends, let’s send our roots down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. Let’s soak up His light and be nourished by His living water. Let’s branch out and bring forth new growth. New life is possible. Hope is within our grasp.
I could have given up on that fern. I could have called it hopeless and tossed it in the trash. I am so glad I didn’t.
Sometimes our life situations seem so hopeless, but in the hands of God, hope lives on. Hope finds a way. With the tender touch of our Master Gardener, that which was broken can become beautiful once more.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 – NIV
O Lord Jesus, in You, we find our hope. By Your grace, our sins are washed away, our lives given a fresh new start. We may feel battered and broken, useless and used up, but You aren’t done with us yet. You can take broken and make it beautiful. You can bring new life out of the ashes of our despair. O Lord, give us a confident hope that will see us through the days to come, for in You, we place our trust.
In the Gracious Name of Jesus, we pray,
-APS 8/30 /2021