My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed. Psalm 71:3
Ever since that beautiful white orchid burst forth into bloom a few weeks ago, I felt guilty about how horribly I treated my orchids. I cannot remember how long it has been since I took any interest in them. From far down on the ground below the oak tree where they hung, it looked like about half or more were dead and gone, but I made a promise to them that I would change their living conditions as soon as possible. I looked around the house to find a better place to house them and decided to put them on the side porch. There, they will be in the shade and I can see them from the dining room window. Hopefully having them close will be a reminder to provide food and water. When they hang in a tree, nature takes care of the watering, but on the porch, they will not only be protected from the sun, but also the rain. I mulled over whether to buy new shelves or ask husband to build some, when I stopped in our locally owned hardware store to kill time between meetings. By the front entrance was a stack of plastic woven shelves once used for merchandise. They had a piece of masking tape on them that said: $30. That was crossed through and someone wrote $20. That was also crossed through to say $10 cash only. My kind of bargain. I handed over a ten dollar bill, and the son of the owner helped load them in my car. I bought some orchid bark and when the dogs woke me up on Saturday at six o’clock before the sun had time to get hot, I took it as a sign that the orchids were calling. I climbed up on a ladder and brought the pots all up to the deck. They were in bad shape, and the white orchid even had a snake skin wrapped through its leaves. Sure enough, most of the plants looked dead, but as I dumped old orchid bark and thousands of ants into a garbage can, I saw little shoots of green hiding in almost all the pots. I cleaned the roots and leaves of any spiders and mites, pulled off dead branches, divided a few big plants and found I had so many that I had to scavenge the yard for more pots. I now have almost more orchids than will fit on the shelves especially since I bought three new ones that were used as decorations for GeckoFest last weekend. I can be like an orchid. God is willing to clean me up, dust me off and pull the spider webs off me. Even when Satan tries to rub against me and tempt me to sin, God still loves me enough to care for me and give me a fresh start. When He does, the result is new growth and blossoms. God is in the business of redemption. The orchids tell me so.