-by Mary May Larmoyeux– Our Christmas cactus is beginning to bloom on what is a cold, dreary day. Its delicate red and pink flowers seem out of place on the plant’s flat “prickly leaves” (actually stems). Yet looking at the stunning blooms today helps me find hope for questions that seem to have no answers. And once again I am reminded that nothing is impossible for God.
If your life is anything like mine, the new year has begun with both joys and sorrows. And it is filled with questions you cannot answer.
Do you wonder if it’s possible for a loved one to recover from a debilitating illness or injury? Are you asking yourself, “How will we make ends meet?” Are you fearful that your spouse, children, or grandchildren are turning away from God?
The questions are endless when we focus on the “prickly” things of life. So what lessons does a Christmas cactus have for you and me?
1. God’s timing is often different from our desires.
Our Christmas cactus is blooming in January instead of December. To me, its blooms seem too late. But not for God. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
2. God can bring beauty out of anything.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) John Piper explains, “Paul is not saying all things are good. He is saying all things are turned by God for good.”
What would happen to your anxieties if you truly believed God is working all things for His good purposes?
3. When things look hopeless, turn to God.
“And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you.’” (2 Chronicles 14:11)
When you are at the crossroad of despair and hope, follow Asa’s example. Pray something like, “Help me, O Lord. _______________________ (whoever or whatever you are praying for). For I rely on You.”
Today, instead of focusing on what you cannot do in a difficult situation, think about all-powerful God. Only when you and I turn to Him will we find the hope we long for.
© 2018 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.
Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart. Filled with ideas for every month of the year, it’s a great resource for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.