Growing up, my mom had this plant in our backyard called a Purple Heart. Purple Heart spreads like wildfire and grows anywhere. It is some pretty resilient stuff, and I’ve always liked it.
Last summer, my little boy accidentally broke a pretty large branch off of one of her plants. Rather than just apologizing and throwing it away, I took it home and stuck it in water. It rooted pretty quickly so, once I felt confident that the root system was solid, I planted it in an area of my backyard where I was hoping it would grow, but I didn’t hold my breath. That area of my yard is rocky, and there is a lot of clay, which is why I hadn’t planted anything else there.
The Purple Heart took off. It turned a previously ugly piece of my yard into a beautiful area as it spread along the back of my house. (A true picture of redemption!)
When the snowpocalypse happened this year, I assumed all of those plants were lost. By the time the snow melted, it was clear that the Purple Heart was gone.
I noticed last week that there are five places along that area where purple leaves are popping up. I cannot tell you how excited I was to see those purple leaves peeking through the dirt! I immediately went and started pulling the weeds that had grown in that area and put some new soil down to feed the plants as they grow.
What a beautiful illustration of life for anyone who calls him or herself a Christian. We all go through hard times. We feel broken. The storms of life can leave us feeling defeated. But if our root system is strong, if we are solidly planted in Jesus, and there is still breath in our lungs, he is not done with us yet. He wants to use us to shine a light in this dark world, to make the ugly pieces a little more beautiful.
Last Sunday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. Because of Easter, because Jesus died on the cross in our place and defeated death, as believers, we have hope. We can know that even though life is hard sometimes, God is not done with us yet.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well.
— Psalm 139:13–14
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved… For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew & Greek; for the same Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
— Romans 10:9, 11–14
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
— Philippians 1:6