Tuesday, March 15, 2011

40 Days of Lint, Day Six: Sprouting from Dry Ground

As a gardener, it always amazes me when I see weeds, even trees, growing from cracks in the sidewalk or breaking through solid rock. Why is it that what I plant on purpose has to be coaxed into existence, while these rebel plants thrive in the least likely spots? They are tenacious for life, willing to fight impossible odds, flourishing in the most inhospitable environment. They don’t care if anybody wants them there, or if anyone makes bouquets from their flowers. They laugh at our efforts to kill them. No matter how many times we pull or spray these plants, they keep coming back.

Just last weekend, my husband, stepdaughter, and I spent over an hour trying to uproot a stump growing next to our fence. It was growing in the exact spot we needed to put a new post. The old post came loose as well as several large chunks of cement. And we managed to hack the trunk into three pieces, but it still wouldn’t pry from the ground. It wasn’t until my husband attached a chain to his truck that he was able to pull the roots from the ground. Kourtnie and I watched in amazement as each piece emerged from the ground followed by a 10-12 foot root!

These renegades have two things in common – an original seed and deep roots. Somewhere back in time, a seed was dropped and it grew. It developed a strong base. Every effort to cut it down or dig it up failed, because far below the surface the root drank from hidden sources of water.

Many people view Jesus, as an ugly, unwelcome weed. Yet when they tried to destroy Him on the cross, He made a comeback. No matter how people try to erase Him from our society today - our government, our schools, our literature - He just keeps coming back. He is the original seed of God and He is rooted in eternity:

"Just watch my servant blossom!
Exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd!
But he didn't begin that way.
At first everyone was appalled.
He didn't even look human—
a ruined face, disfigured past recognition.
Nations all over the world will be in awe, taken aback,
kings shocked into silence when they see him.
For what was unheard of they'll see with their own eyes,
what was unthinkable they'll have right before them.”
Who believes what we've heard and seen?
Who would have thought God's saving power would look like this?
The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
Isaiah 52:13-53:2, Message

Jesus grew up in a world parched for salvation, and they chopped Him down. He rose to prove His victory over sin and death. Many believed in Him then and now. However, our world continues to see Him as an intruder; they attempt to dispose of Christ and His seed everywhere. They cultivate other plants that do not have the audacity to point out their sin and need for a Savior.

Soon, so soon I can feel it in the air I breathe, Jesus will return for those who love Him. He will not appear as an ugly weed or a scraggly plant struggling to rise from the desert floor. This time He will show himself for who He really is – the Rose, The Vine, The Branch. King Jesus. This tenacious seed of God, was cut down by our sin, but He rose from the dead and will come again in victory.

Lint Removed: Viewing Christ as a Weed
Cleaning Process: Seeing Jesus as the True Vine

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