Never lose hope

I have a Christmas cactus on my desk in my office. My sister gave it to me in December of 2007. At the time, it was in full bloom. Little pink flowers graced the green leafs.

              Months of neglect did not bode well for my little cactus. Turns out that Christmas cacti do indeed need regular watering, unlike other varieties of cacti. I completely forgot how pretty the plant had once been. It became dried up and ugly. The leaves were brown and withered, and I kept thinking I should just throw it away.

              A few months ago, after returning from a 10-day trip, I came back to a mostly dead plant. I had failed to make arrangements for anyone to water the thing; it was at its lowest point.

              Out of pure guilt, I watered it one last time, practically drowning the mound of clumpy soil that had once been fertile ground for my plant.

              A week later, it was still looking pretty ugly. Just as I picked it up to toss it in the garbage can, I noticed several tiny buds! I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe my plant was coming back to life.

              It turns out that lack of water was only part of the problem. You see, Christmas cactuses bloom at Christmas. How they know when it is Christmas in a climate-controlled office, I do not know.

              Whatever the case, Christmas had come, and it was time for this plant to bloom.

              This little plant has renewed my hope and reminded me of God’s promises. Just when you are about to give up – whether it’s on a marriage, a friendship, a romantic relationship, a job, a wayward child, your dysfunctional family, your financial situation or whatever – hold on. There may be something beautiful right around the corner. Give that situation the attention and care it needs, and then wait on God for amazing results.

He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

              This month, as you read The Good News in Florida, we pray that you will be reminded how much God loves you … and how wonderful His plans for you are.

              Never lose hope, because God’s timing is perfect. So we can say with confidence, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

              How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)

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