Just before we moved from Colorado to Iowa, in the summer of 2001, we took a quick trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love Santa Fe. It's a town full of history, art and fabulous food! While there we did some obligatory shopping and for some reason, we bought a lemon tree...I don't know why, but we did.
Over the past 11 years the lemon tree has moved from place to place with us. Atleast once a year it is coated with an abundance of fragrant blossoms and on occasion we actually have had a lemon.
The downfall is that every winter the branches become coated with aphids. Over the course of the winter it dropped many of its leaves thanks to the invasion of the nasty critters...Ugh! I tried soaps, baths, sprays, even wiping the little buggers off with my hands...I tried everything for 11 long years - and finally, I gave up fighting the aphids.
One balmy day in March I set the doomed plant on the back deck and thought - 'good luck, you're on your own.' 11 years of a love/hate relationship ended with frustration (me) and exile (the plant).
We then had a cold snap and soon all of the leaves dropped. And what remained of this forlorn plant was stuck, out of sight and out of mind, on the back deck.
I thought about pulling it out and tossing it in the fire Ethan started last weekend, but for some reason I let it be. Even after I gave up on the darn thing, I couldn't bring myself to do the final act of tossing it away. Well, yesterday as I was about to pull it up and throw it out I noticed some green shoots coming from the base of the plant. Now what am I supposed to do???
I could draw all sorts of conclusions from the botanical side of things. I could even draw conclusions from a lens of faith - how God's love never, ever lets us go. The reality is that this plant is indeed persistent, and so I will let it be and see what comes of it.
Maybe we just needed a break and a do-over, and maybe, just maybe I have a lesson to learn here. As a friend reminds me often; every day is a chance for redemption.
This summer I am leading the church in a study of David, a man after God's own heart. A man who not only experienced - he personally and intimately knew God's mercy, grace and redemptive love. We have a lot to learn from David. I too look forward to learning from the life of David. I might even write about it...just a bit.
looking forward to starting anew,
Want to follow along as we learn about David? Start with 1 Samuel... today's sermon is on 1 Samuel 16:1-13 when David, the one on the margins, is chosen by God.