When Life Stinks

by | Jun 5, 2015 | Encouragement, Sabbath


Geraniums stink but I am growing to love them.

Cabbage heads of vibrant fuchsia, red and pink are spreading out and multiplying in window boxes and planters everywhere in the city. Amidst tired entrances and paint chipped window sills, those geraniums carry a message for you and me with them.

In Christ, you are resilient, strong and beautiful; a sign of hope standing out in the midst of what the world has polluted.   

Do you remember making flowers from tissue paper? Or knotting daisy stems for garlands you could wear on your head or around your neck? Blowing dandelion puffs into the faces of your childhood while bare feet pushed into cool, fresh cut grass that left hints to your whereabouts on your knee caps.

Or the way finding a box turtle pressed up against your wire fence made you feel special and more responsible because of rescue.

Do you remember how empathy helped you release that hard shell from the box you created for it back to freedom? You realized that being truly yourself while attempting to control your environment don’t really exist well together.

Even then, in your childish youth, Jesus was cultivating your heart and passion.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

When you are tempted to believe those unrealistic standards you place upon yourself, remember that even Jesus was a child once, tutored by His environment.

One day in the future you will look back on the acrid blooms of your life and find them beautiful because they made you, you — resilient despite the world’s pollution.

Happy Sabbath Friends!!

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  1. Leah

    Thanks for the spirit-lead teaching on geraniums! The Lord has been reminding me a lot of what I was like as a child- and how that is pointing to what my true self is, and to also show me things I believed about myself, or what I though I was, are not so. Your call to be “resilent, strong, and beautiful in Christ” is such a refreshing far-cry from the standard commotion to be melancholy watchdogs, fearfully on guard. Just this morning while making the bed I was thinking about Jesus’ words on being salt. The Message puts it: Your are to be salt -seasoning to bring out the good flavors of the earth.
    Enjoy the remainder of your post-Sabbath week.

  2. Nancy Ruegg

    Oh, yes. So many people have seen their hopes diminished, if not dashed–pressed from all sides by trials, difficult people, and disappointments. But I can be a bearer of God’s fresh hope and encouragement–like those geraniums– in a world polluted by sin and heartache. Praise God, he can still use me, stinky though I may be with my own sin and shortcomings! Thank you, Shelly, for inspiring us to be signs of hope in this polluted world.

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