My brother and I were on a fishing trip down at the Rio Grande a few years ago and noticed a strange plant growing around the drip line of a big boulder on the cliff by the river. It was all dried up and looked totally dead. The old rancher that I was with told me it is a resurrection plant and that when the rains come it opens up, turns green and blooms. The action of opening up causes the seeds that have formed inside to fall out and start new plants.
I asked him why they were so plentiful around the boulders, and he said that a lot of moisture comes up off the river and collects on the boulders and then drips down on the plants. When the new seeds sprout after the rain, the ones by the boulders thrive while the sprouts further out in the desert wither and die. I dug up some and they sit on my coffee table to this day, waiting for me to give them a drink so they can transform again.
This little plant has become a reminder of just how blessed I am to have been born into a family who loves God and trusts in Him for life. It also reminds me I have a strong church community to help channel God’s love and bring me hope, just like the boulders do for the plants.
If we only see from our natural viewpoint, it’s been a strange fearful time to exist in the last few weeks. Obviously the politicians can’t set our world in order and are just as clueless as everybody else. If we listen to the news, there is only fear and distress coming at us.
Think about this, just before Jesus was led away to be crucified, He told his Disciples in John 16:32-33: “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Right now we are literally “each with our own”, but we don’t have to be alone because Jesus is right here with us. If it seems like you are in the desert and can’t see any clouds coming to bring rain, remember the boulder we have been living around, our church community. We, the church, are collectively gathering the life giving flow of God’s Spirit, and if we freely give that away, new sprouts will grow in this desert.