The Perishing Passion Flower Plant


The Recovering Plant                      Its bloom when healthy

It was late spring, and I, as usual for this time of year, was exploring yet another greenhouse in search of beautiful flowers for our deck. Imagine my delight when I discovered not one, not even two, but more than two dozen of my favorite plants: The passion flower plant!

Just to give you a little background, the passion flower has been cultivated for thousands of years, first by, Incas and other South American Natives, and then, in the sixteenth century, it was introduced to the rest of the world. These plants are mostly in the vine category. Because their native environment is a competitive one, these fast-growing vines use their tendrils to climb up tree trunks with the purpose of reaching the forest canopy and the much desired sun. At this time, the trailing stems start to bud, and they eventually produce colorful, attractive flowers. For some reason unknown to me, these flowers only last one day.

As I began going through the passion flower plants, searching for that perfect one or two to bring home, I discovered the price tag: $34.95! Wow! That seemed a lot for such a small plant! Discouraged, I turned away. I wasn't defeated, however. I decided to wait until the beginning of July when most nurseries, especially the seasonal ones like the one I was visiting, would drastically reduce the price of their outdoor plants. Sure enough, when I visited this same nursery four weeks later, the remaining passion flower plants had been reduced to just 5$ a plant! Wow! Now I was really excited, especially when I discovered they still had two different species available!

I brought these plants home and set them on the back deck for the summer. Due to the abundance of sunshine, they produced a multitude of beautiful flowers. We even discovered a few flowers in mid-autumn, thanks to the mild, unusual fall weather we were experiencing. By mid-November however, I discovered that one of these plants had lost most of its leaves. The other plant still looked pretty good, but I knew this wouldn't last long if they remained on the deck. I brought them inside and transferred them to larger, nicer pots, and set them in my bedroom.

At first nothing happened, but after a couple of days, the one who had lost most of its leaves while outside shed the rest of its foliage. Because the second one still maintained its leaves, looking, in fact, quite happy, I was pretty sure I would lose the first plant. Had I been too late in rescuing it from the cold? I decided to not give up, however, and after making sure that both plants had plenty of sunlight, I continued to mist them twice a day.

Though the one plant continued to be nothing but a brown branch, one day I was delighted to notice that the second plant was starting to produce buds. And not just one bud, either! Over twenty of them! It obviously liked its new surroundings! This only seemed to make the first plant look all the sadder, however. Was there any hope for it at all? Then I noticed something greenish at the base of one of its stem! Something was growing after all! Could it really still be alive?

Sure enough, over the next few days it produced a new vine, with several promising new shoots! Wow! The dead had come back to life!

This reminds me of how Jesus can turn the most hopeless and disastrous life around and make it into something beautiful. Substance abuse addicts find themselves freed by the power of God's Holy Spirit; feuding family members find themselves reconciled through the love of Jesus Christ; the hopeless find hope in the One who died for them and came back to life 3 days later.

You may look dead my friend, with no possible hope in sight. People may be avoiding you like the plague. You may be an undesirable, a good-for-nothing, but not so to Jesus! He died for you, and although you may not know Him, He is constantly trying to reach out to you, trying to envelope you in His love. Just as my passion flower plant came back to life, Jesus can turn your life around as well. There is hope in Jesus. What He has done with drug-addicts, what He has done to those who were in impossible situations, He is willing to do it for you. He loves you and invites you to be His friend. Will you let Him? His promise is true: "And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places]" (Eph 1:19-20 AMP)

Do you want to be free? Try the One who says: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)

Let your lifeless and useless limbs be filled with His power and watch the unbelievable transformation turn you into a purposeful creature of His light.

Rob Chaffart

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