I have spent a lot of time in the past three weeks cutting off dead parts of plants so that the new growth is not obstructed. I put all these clippings in my wheelbarrow and haul it to the edge of the yard where I throw it over the bank – out of sight. (we have 5 acres and much of it is very steep)
As I was ready to toss my latest pruning efforts, I noticed something green poking up from the refuse pile. I looked closer.
It was a peony!
Somehow I had dug up a peony tuber and thrown it over the bank. Phil and I had transplanted several plants lately but I don’t recall moving a plant near a peony – yet there it was! There were three fresh green stalks with peony leaves pushing up through the refuse pile. I carefully inched my way down to it – VERY carefully because I have a history of falling down banks that is NOT pretty. (ask my family for the gruesome details) It was easy to remove the plant from the pile because it was growing in loosely thrown leaves, stalks, etc. Apparently the tuber had all the nourishment it needed to send out those new leaves even though it was not planted in soil. Peonies are my all time second favorite flower and I treasure the peony plants I have, some given me by friends.
Here was a plant overcoming all odds and growing in a refuse pile!
I moved it to a prime location near my other peonies in good, well drained soil and watered it well. Peonies do not like to be moved, so it probably won’t bloom this year, but the leaves are looking healthy and are growing well. I had almost buried it by emptying my wheelbarrow on it.
This “peony in a refuse pile” has made me think about the times I have given up on a situation – or a person – maybe myself – and in a sense thrown it away. I have become disappointed or discouraged by someone or something and given up.
How thankful I am that God never gives up on us!
peonies from 2019
We have been studying Acts in our Community Women’s Bible study and I think about Paul who persecuted Christians even facilitating Stephen’s death by stoning. Paul was committed to destroying the TRUTH that Jesus and his followers were spreading. Yet God chose Paul to be his apostle and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all nations.
1 Timothy 1:15-17New Living Translation
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Paul should have been “thrown on the refuse pile” of truth deniers. Instead God saw in him the potential of new life in Jesus. Paul chose to follow Jesus and each of us is given that same invitation. We must never give up the hope of the new life that Jesus offers.
Only God knows what will “grow” out of the refuse of our lives.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.