Phil and I spent all Saturday afternoon and evening trimming, pruning, raking dead stems and leaves, and then hauling off the refuse we had created to pitch over the bank.
(one of the many great benefits of living in the mountains is that our cuttings create critter habitat as we toss all cuttings over the bank. Previous owners also tossed old cars, old furnaces, and who knows what all over the bank – but that is a story for another time)
I carefully removed the old leaf matter from around the area where our native plants grow. The tiny white buds of blood root were just starting to poke through. As I moved on I saw the trout lily leaves and the stems emerging that will soon be crowned with lovely yellow blooms. “Phil,look at this!”
I LOVE spring!
It signifies hope.
After the cold and sparse winter, new life springs forth! But, to really get the full benefit of the new growth in spring, we have to pay the price. It was a lot of hard work to trim, rake, prune, and gather the cuttings and dead leaves and stems. The new plants would have come up anyway, at least many of them would. But – they would have been hidden and their growth hindered by the old dead leaves and stems.
In our Community Women’s Bible Study this past Wednesday, my friend Cathy shared her reflections on Ephesians 2: 1-5
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Then she challenged us with questions to ask ourselves – one of which was “Do we consider our participation in the Body of Christ a privilege worth the cost?”
We were all “dead” spiritually following our own way – in trespasses and sin, as verse 2:1 says. But, God, who is RICH in mercy, made us alive with Christ!
As we ask for forgiveness and choose to follow Jesus, God clears away ALL the old stuff so the new life can come forth!
Was it hard work cleaning up our yard this spring? Yes!
Was it worth it? YES!
Especially as I watch new life spring forth each day.
So back to Cathy’s question – Do I consider it a privilege to be part of Jesus’ Church – the Body of Christ? Yes!
Paul says in verse 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Incomparable riches – meaning NOTHING compares to what God has offered us through his son Jesus.
Is it worth the cost?
We must let God rake away the old, dead ideas, traditions, and beliefs that keep the fresh, new life from shining through. The old way that was gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. v3
Then our NEW life in Christ will emerge, fresh, clean, and vibrate like the flowers in spring.
In My Garden with God – #5