This year I planted bulbs. On a recent trip to Michigan Jane and I purchased some Tulip bulbs, and not long ago a friend gave us some Iris bulbs. So I planted them. I procrastinated and didn’t get them into the ground until mid-winter.
But they grew! Well, at least most of the Iris bulbs and one Tulip grew. The other Tulip bulbs were eaten by demonic squirrels.
My late planting and the unfortunate attack of the murderous squirrels only made the emergence of life all the more miraculous. But this is the nature of plants. It seems, given a chance, they are able to overcome incredible odds.
Years ago my mother used to sing a song called, “I Believe in Miracles”. One line of the song said, “I’ve seen the Lilly push its way up through the stubborn sod. I believe in miracles, because I believe in God.” I realize by some definitions the natural life cycle of a Lilly, as a part of the natural forced God put in place at creation, is not technically a miracle. A miracle is usually defined as something God does that operates outside of the processes He has already established. Still, in light of the obstacles my poor bulbs faced in their quest for sunlight, I will say their success is miraculous, metaphorically speaking.
Kingdom life occurs in much the same way. It comes to those who are dead in their sins. It springs from the heart of the atheist and agnostic. I have seen God’s kingdom come to life in the most unlikely people in the most hostile environments, at the most unpredictable times. I call it “kingdom spring”, when the dark shadows imposed by the evil one give way to the glorious light of Christ.
In a letter to the Colossian church, the Apostle Paul wrote “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7) Jesus became sin for us, died, was planted in a tomb and rose to proclaim victory over sin and death. We are united with Him in baptism, our old self is crucified and we are raised to life.
The High Priest and Pilate thought they could keep Jesus in the ground. But He broke the bonds of death…the proverbial stubborn sod. Death could not hold Him. Sin could not crush Him. He rose, and Satan went down.
At the risk of being sentimental and losing good doctrinal sense, I must say the natural spring we experience after a hard winter reminds me of the power of my risen Lord. After many years of watching plant life emerge from the dormant earth, I am still amazed at the wonder of it all. In like fashion I think of my risen Lord, whose victory over death was indeed a miracle.
And if He can rise to a new life, I am confident God can raise this dead soul and make him new. My spring came once and for all, and the Holy Spirit keeps me growing perpetually. His life fills me and promises me life eternal. I too have seen the Lilly…or the Iris and the Tulip… push its way up through the stubborn sod. I do believe in miracles. I believe in God.