Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Bottom Line~

"Oh, I am sooooo sorry."

I have to admit,
this was a first for me.

Not apologizing,
(I've had way too many
apologizing moments
over the course of my life),
but apologizing
out loud
to a plant.
(Ever done that before?)

Oddly enough,
the events that led me here, -
apologizing to a plant -
were set in motion
several weeks earlier
when I had been the one
on the receiving end
of an apology.

A pilot light on my furnace
that refused to stay lit,
resulted in a service call
and a repairman
giving me a diagnosis
that started with this apology:

"Oh, I am sooooo sorry, Mrs, Sanchez,
but see this?
And, this?
These cracks in the ________________
(insert a furnacy sounding word here)?
And this white powdery build up?

These cracks can allow carbon monoxide
to leak into your home,
and this powder tells me
your heater isn't burning efficiently.

Bottom line:
You need a new furnace.
And unfortunately,
I am not comfortable
lighting this one for you."

Since warmer weather
was still three or four weeks away,
and since purchasing a new furnace
was not in my budget,
I decided to set up a makeshift bed
in the smallest room in my home,
and in the company of
a small space heater,
ride out the rest of winter
in this one room,
all cozy and warm.

Only,
in order for my new "bed" on the floor
to fit in this small space,
I had to re-locate a
rather large hibiscus plant
(which I had brought indoors
for the colder months)
from a sunny corner
to a dark hallway.

As I picked up the plant
to carry it to its new location,
I was surprised to see -
this precious gift from my husband
that had been flowerless all winter -
now had several blooms
starting to develop.

Fast forward to today.

With Spring finally starting
to make an appearance,
I decided to move back into my bedroom
and move the hibiscus
back into its previous sunny location.

Only,
when I went to get the plant
from the dark hallway,
I couldn't help but notice
the blooms were no bigger today
than they were
when I had moved the plant
several weeks ago.

"Oh, I am sooooo sorry."

The words of apology
came out of my mouth
before I even had time
to stop and realize
I was apologizing to a plant.

And yet,
the words seemed appropriate.
Even when spoken to a plant.

Especially when
gently lifting the plant
to move it,
the two tiny blossoms
fell to the floor.

(I know. 😔)

"If only I had kept you
in the light."

Yes, it was me again,
still talking to this precious plant.
And, as God is always faithful to do,
He took this opportunity
to talk to my heart, too.
(And now, maybe to yours, as well.)

Sometimes,
events in our life,
completely out of our control,
pick us up
from our "sunny place"
and set us down
in a new place that seems
cramped, cold, and void of light.

Grief.
Illness.
Divorce.
Unemployment.
Depression.

And yet,
even in these places,
even in the midst of
these dark circumstances and situations,
what you and I
have to remember,
and what you and I
can never afford to forget
is this:
If we have Jesus,
the Light is still there.

"I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me
shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life."
~John 8:12

Unlike my hibiscus plant,
which was powerless to seek out
a source of light on its own,
you and I
have all the power we need,
in and through His Spirit
to seek out,
to remain in,
to survive and thrive
in His light,
even and especially in
the darkest times of our life.

If we have Jesus,
if we continue to follow Him,
if we are faithful to keep
the eyes of our heart focused on Him,
we can still have
the Light of life.

Why?
Because He is our light.

The Lord is my light
and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
~Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)

The people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light.
And for those who lived
in the land where death
casts its shadow,
a light has shined.
~Matthew 4:16 (NLT)

But you are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
His own special people,
that you may proclaim
the praise of Him
who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.
~1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness 
doesn't extinguish the light.
~John 1:5 (CEB)

Because of Jesus,
no matter where we may find our self -
in the grip of sin,
in the grip of fear,
in the grip of death,
in the grip of sorrow,
in the grip of uncertainty,
His light is still there.

All we have to do
is keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

All we have to do
is allow His light
to infuse us,
to illuminate us,
to encourage us,
to nourish us,
to comfort us,
to sustain us.

But . . .
if we don't -
if we don't
purposefully and intentionally
choose
to stay in His light -
just like my poor plant,
we will fail to grow,
and worse yet,
we may even wither up,
and die.

The bottom line:
We need Jesus.

And as hard
as it is
to admit this to ourselves sometimes,
this is also the bottom line:
It's not the situation or circumstance
that keeps us in the dark,
it's our response to it.

Now that my plant
is back in its sunny place
right by the corner window,
I'm hopeful new blooms will come.

And I have no doubt,
if you and I
will keep walking in His light,
over time,
even in the darkest of places,
we will bloom again, too.




~Stacy



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