Winter Flowers


“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future." – Jeremiah 29:11 It was a snowy and cold Thursday evening as I started this week's devotion. A second wave of white powder added another 2 inches to the snow already blanketing the yard. While it was a beautiful sight, the snow (accompanied by bone-chilling winds) dared me to walk outside and disturb it's "dibs" over the land. This morning, I woke up to see new signs of life. The sunshine lit up the now-icy snow. Squirrels and other furry backyard friends left fresh tracks around the deck and yard as they foraged for subterranean frozen food. I was reminded that life continues - even in the midst of winter. Out of curiosity, I googled to see if flowers bloomed in the wintertime. Lo and behold, I learned that that there is a category of flowers known as "winter flowers" that need cold temperatures to bloom. These flowers include: heather, pansies, chionodoxa, english primrose, and helleborus (also known as the Christmas Rose.) Amazingly, these flowers not only survive the winter weather - they blossom in the midst of it. Last Sunday, we started our sermon series, "Saving Grace," with a message about wilderness (which is a lot like winter.) We noted how wilderness is often accompanied by whining. As the Hebrews journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land, they moaned and groaned along the way. They complained about the unfamiliarity of the present and uncertainty of the future. They passed around petitions calling for new leadership and a return to Egypt. They accused God of bringing them out of Egypt only to let them die in the wilderness. God responded to the accusations with patience and love. More specifically, God offered manna - baklava from heaven - to sustain them. As the people of God journeyed through wilderness, God invited them to unlearn the lessons of Egypt and learn the lessons of the Promised Land. God invited the people to learn the lessons of TRUST - to TRUST God for their daily bread - to TRUST God with their cares and concerns - to TRUST in God's promises and presence - to TRUST that God was with them and would never leave them (even in wilderness.) Here's another way to think about this - God invited the people to BLOSSOM in the wilderness - just as God invites us (today) to BLOSSOM in the winter. Friends, we all experience winter seasons in life - physically, emotionally, financially, even spiritually. We understand the temptation to complain and question God's faithfulness and love. As we continue our frigid journey through the winter season, may we hear the invitations to TRUST in the Lord with all our hearts. More than merely surviving the cold, may we learn to BLOSSOM in the midst of it. - Pastor Caleb

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Faith Matters Newsletter[3456].jpg

Apr. 2021 Newsletter

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