I noticed a bold red-orange-pink flowery bush, in full bloom, while riding down Butterworth Road a few days ago. This is the same road, in the same town, where brown leaves abound… not only on the ground, but attached stubbornly to the trees. It seems that spring wants to arrive, while winter wants to remain. This represents the soul of man. While the spirit of the man surrendered to God is totally made new, the soul of that man is a work-in-progress. Death still tries to cling to life. Reminders of what used to be. As we examine ourselves, it may appear that we will always look like this. But as we trust in the transforming power of God, which comes by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2), the brown is forced to fall off our lives, and there’s no adhesion powerful enough to put the deadness back on, as we continue to renew. You know, no one around here is volunteering to climb the trees in order to remove all the deadness. But no one needs to. In a matter of days, those leaves will be “leaving”. Count on it. Making room for more new life. Exchanging the brown for a vibrant green. Those trees will begin to “agree” with what the flowery bush is saying. The dominating new life forces the old out. In John 14:6, Jesus said about Himself, “I am THE LIFE.” His life is in us! May our lives show the departure of the crunchy, lifeless brown. May we exhibit the flowing sap, the forming buds, the heightened fragrance… as it results in the changing landscape of this world! It’s a set-up for bearing luscious fruit! May God be glorified!

Sharon Collver, March 8, 2017