Monday, September 28, 2015

Glossy Buckthorn

Catchy title, right?  What in the world is “glossy buckthorn” and what does that have to do with life in general?  Stay with me here!

I do love how many wonderful lessons we can learn by just being aware of God’s revelations through His wondrous creation.  If you have been reading my posts, you know I am not crazy about bats and skunks….and yet they both have their place in the grand scheme of things.

I first became aware of the creepy (and creeping) nature of Glossy buckthorn as Charlie and I were discussing the impact this plant is having on the many acres of his camp property.  He and the other 2 men who co-own the property, asked a friend who retired from the U.S. Forest Service to do a study of their land, with an eye to managing it well.

Among other things, they learned that “glossy buckthorn”:

1.     has very invasive tendencies;
2.     shades out native plants;
3.     threatens Michigan’s wetland communities;
4.     hosts dangerous plant viruses and fungi;
5.     is an attractive plant with shiny leaves and small flowers, appealing to birds and small mammals, and…..
6.     has seeds that are viable for several years.

I know, that’s wayyyy more than most of us need to know about the Glossy buckthorn plant!  So why would it be a subject worth writing about?  Back to my statement that we can learn much from the world our God created.

In the book of Matthew we get a glimpse of how Jesus used the natural world to teach lessons.  Chapter 13 discusses the 4 types of soil in a parable intended to teach us about how we receive the Truth. In that same chapter Jesus tells a story about the weeds…and then the mustard seed. 

In Luke 12 Jesus has much to say about worry and proceeds to paint a word picture that includes the ravens, the lilies, the grass of the field and other birds. Hmmm; looks like the same God that illustrates His lessons with these examples, also made the “glossy buckthorn”.  Just sayin….

Maybe…just maybe there is a lesson buried inside this weird plant.  I like to believe that God can reach my heart in any way He chooses.

SIN can be so like the Glossy buckthorn plant:

1.     Sin can start out as a small thing, like that plant in its early stages.
2.     Sin looks attractive and innocent, much like those glossy leaves and delicate flowers.
3.     When allowed to grow and spread, sin begins to invade other parts of our lives, casting shadows over multiple areas of our lives.
4.     Sin opens us up to worldly “viruses and fungi” and every time we compromise our faith, we are in danger of bringing more sin into our lives.
5.     Like the seeds of this plant that are viable for many years, all too often we suffer the consequences of our sin for years to come, even after we have done all we can to eradicate it.

 My husband and his camp partners are now attempting to dig this stuff out and kill it with whatever will work without damaging other plant life.  This stuff is everywhere!

This pesky plant may continue to bring aggravation and maybe it can never be eradicated.  But we, as believers in Jesus Christ, look forward to the day when we will be perfected and no longer have to struggle with sin.    Jesus took care of that sin through His life, death and resurrection.  HALLELUJAH!!!!  And even now, in this challenging life, with all of its temptations, we can choose well.  The Holy Spirit, Who indwells us and is available to ALL who invite Christ to be Lord and Savior, empowers us to live a life pleasing to God.

I am resting on the promise Jesus makes in the last book of the Bible: “Behold, I am coming soon!” (twice in chapter 22) and Jesus confirms it again in 22:20, “Yes I am coming soon.”  

And speaking of God’s amazing creation, as I write this, my hubby and I are watching the moon go through an eclipse, intrigued by the reddish color. (the “blood moon”)  I half expect to hear the blast of that triumphant trumpet described in I Thessalonians 4:16 when Jesus comes down from heaven to gather us to Himself.  Could it be tonight? Tomorrow? 

I invite you to join the chorus that sings, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”






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