Christmas Cactus

If you know me well, you will know that I love plants and flowers, but I am terrible with them. Most plants I buy end up dead within a few months, sometimes weeks. I still love plants though. Flowers and their intricate design remind me of how wonderful God is to us that He would share such beauty!

I bought a Christmas Cactus 3 years ago to decorate our window sill in the kitchen. It looked lovely. It was full of life, there were lots of buds and the most beautiful pale pink flowers popping here and there. I apologised to it as I placed it in its prime location.

I did not know Christmas Cacti should not be placed in a very hot room and in a place with direct sunlight all day long. I also didn’t know the soil needed to be moist all the time whilst it was flowering. I thought, cacti grow in the desert, therefore, it will be ok without watering. Well, I guess you might know what happened to my Christmas Cactus: its flowers dropped quickly, and it got very sad and I thought it was going to die. I moved it to our sitting room and placed it on the fireplace and didn’t pay much attention to it for a very long time.  

A few months ago, I was moving a few things around our conservatory and I decided to move my almost lifeless Christmas Cactus to the window sill there. As I looked at it I felt so sad I had not put more effort into looking after it. I spent some time reading about how to care for it and made a conscious effort to water it and I even moved it a couple of times. About two weeks ago I saw a few buds and my Christmas Cactus is now flowering! You can imagine my surprise! My plant has survived and gained strength and is now looking more like it should.  I am always amazed how God uses the simplest things in life to draw our attention and teach us if we are willing to be taught by Him.

I know this post is not really about the Christmas story which we are celebrating this month, but it is part of my story during this season.  

As I reflect on what happened to my plant these past 3 years and the process of being first happy and in bloom, full of life to being neglected on my fireplace and my stepping up to look after it in an attempt to save it, I think about my Christian walk – my day to day walking in faith and living to please God. God wants each believer to be like his Son Jesus. He has given us all the tools we need in order to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. However, living in a way to please God requires us to work our faith each day. It requires our obedience. God’s word challenges us to walk in holiness because we have been made holy by the blood of Jesus.

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”1 Peter 1:14-16

God is challenging me, moving me to think about the important things I once learned about Him all those years ago when I first gave my life to Him. If I am honest, I could say that through the years I got distracted with the busyness of life. I have faithfully attended church and got involved with ministries, but I neglected my learning and my searching the Scriptures for more of Him. I neglected my personal pursuit of holiness. Perhaps I thought that because I am a Christian, I don’t need to do much now, it is all done for me. It is true: Jesus did the work on the cross and that is finished. Amen! He paid the price and now my relationship with God is restored, but I need to do my part in my growing personally.  I am so thankful God has been pointing me more and more to His Word – to rediscover the precious truths about His character and His amazing plan to redeem us. I am enjoying studying the Bible and praying that God will change more each day, until the day He comes again.

How is God challenging you these days?

True faith can no more be without holiness than true fire without heat. John Owen

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