As I was putting Christmas decorations away in our cold, gloomy garage, I noticed the flower pots that had been sitting outside all summer long displaying their lovely color and life, now sitting brown and dead in the dark garage.
As my eyes skimmed over the pots filled with ugly, dried remnants, I thought myself, “I really should have emptied those out before storing them.” But I just wanted them out of sight and off our patio, once they had lost their beauty.
As I moved my gaze away, my eyes were caught by a splash of color. I looked more closely and I saw a lone flower, alive and standing straight and tall amidst the shriveled dead blooms. It was impossible. I knew for a fact that when I put the pots in the garage late last fall, everything was dead with no signs of life. Looking at those withered remains, I was amazed that a new flower had been able to emerge from that cold, dry, pot that had been sitting in the shadowy garage, carelessly covered by some other empty pots hastily tossed in a heap. I got down on my hands and knees to get a better look and there it was- a beautiful flower, actually a yellow Gerber Daisy that beat impossible odds and had grown out of the deadness surrounding it. I marveled at the display of God’s power at work. It made me smile and somehow made me feel hopeful.
How perfect that God would give me His reminder of new life and beauty even in the dead of winter, a promise of spring. It also brought to mind a set of verses found in the first chapter of Ephesians that humble me and make me realize that I often under estimate the accessible power in my own life. These are Paul’s words to the people in the church at Ephesus over 2000 years ago and they are just as relevant for us today.
“My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people. I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power He used when He raised Christ from death and let Him sit at His right side in heaven. There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church He has made Him the head of everything.” Ephesians 1:18-22 CEV
The very same power that God used to raise Christ from the dead is at work within us today. God is in the business of bringing dead things to life. He desires that we first embrace the new life He offers to each of us personally when He raised His Son to life. But I also believe that God longs to bring other things back to life that have died within us. Do we have confidence that the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave is capable of restoring life to our fractured relationships, crushed hopes, and forgotten dreams that have long been buried deep? Do we actually live like we believe that the power of Almighty God is at work within us daily, to heal us, refresh us, to overcome impossible odds, and triumph over all the forces working against us in this world?
Another thought hit me about the impossibility of the daisy growing in that lifeless pot. That flower must have found enough light, even in the dark garage, to receive the energy needed to push through the dirt and begin to grow. Am I deliberate in the practice of seeking and reflecting light even in the darkest situation? Or do I let the darkness that surrounds me, overshadow the light that I’ve been given? Am I disillusioned, apathetic, or just plain weary? Will I choose to depend on God and His resurrection power to restore, energize and equip me to meet the challenges ahead?
Our calling is to live each day overcoming the odds with the power that raised Christ from the dead at work within us, to bloom where we are planted, and bring light and life to a dark world.