A few years ago I was at a Christmas party with Matt’s coworkers. There were free poinsettias given away and I grabbed one with white leaves, or petals… what are those things anyway? Is it actually a flower? I’ve never been very into poinsettias in general, but a free plant was a nice offer and it would give me something green and living until spring -which sometimes seems too far off in Minnesota.
I didn’t know much about the plant and I didn’t really care that much… until it kept living. I was surprised to find it lasted from that party until the Christmas party the following year. It thrived and I cared more and more for it.
A little over a month ago, Matt and I left for summer camp. We packed up the car and stopped at his office for a few hours to finish off some work. When we got back out to the car the poinsettia was shriveled up, and apparently dead. It has remained that way (quite dead looking) for the last month. I have no idea if it will come back.
The saddest part of that, for me, was how a few short hours could kill something I’d kept living for years. I began to think about this today -as we packed up our cabin and headed back home. I looked at the plant, choosing to take it with me and try to save it still instead of throwing it away.
I thought of life, of faith, and how fragile it is. We can keep it puttering along for years. Then we blunder in to something and in less time than it took to build it, it’s been destroyed. Doesn’t that happen when kids go off to college? They spent years serving Christ, but place themselves in a dangerous environment, and their faith dies. Doesn’t that happen to a lot of Christians? Isn’t that what makes faith so difficult sometimes- so fragile?
God doesn’t place us in environments that will kill us, that’s the difference. That’s something we do to ourselves. I’m the one who placed my plant in a hot car, in the window, on a 90 degree day without giving it another thought. It never occurred to me that I was endangering it. It was such a strong and hearty plant. At least it seemed like it.
We need to increase our faith- to nurture it. We shouldn’t forget it’s fragility -its weakness- even in it’s strength. It was a healthy plant -it really was. But it didn’t take much to kill it.
Protect your poinsettia.