I thought my Christmas cactus was dead, but it bloomed unexpectedly. My Christmas cactus became an Easter cactus!
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.John 20:18, NIV
I thought my cactus was dead— but I was mistaken.
Good morning! Happy Easter Season! Did you know that in the Western church calendar, Easter lasts for fifty days? Eastertide lasts until Pentecost.
Last Sunday (the first Sunday of Easter), I brought a friend with me to church to help us celebrate: My cactus. This little cactus is very special to me (you can see his picture at the top of the page).
My cactus is precious to me because it was a Christmas gift from a friend. She gave it to me before she moved away. I was very touched by this thoughtful present—but I was also a little worried. You see, I have this terrible problem: No matter how hard I try, I just can’t keep plants alive.
I decided I would do my best to take care of my Christmas cactus. Although I was afraid I would make a mistake and kill this adorable little cactus, I decided I would do my best and give the rest to God.
A sign of hope
Time passed, and I managed to keep the cactus alive for over a year. He never bloomed– but at least I remembered to water him. Sadly, in late January I was admitted to Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia for an emergency eye surgery. With everything going on, I completely forgot to water my cactus.
I was dreadfully sad when I realized what I had done. I was sure I had killed it! It was brown and droopy. It looked completely dead.
I mourned for my little cactus, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw him away. I gave him water and said a little prayer. After a while, he started to look more green.
Imagine my surprise when my cactus started to show signs of life. Near the end of Lent, my Christmas cactus started to form small, tiny, delicate purple bulbs. It had transformed! My Christmas cactus became an Easter cactus!
I took this as a sign of hope. During the winter, everything looks dead. The ground freezes, trees lose their leaves, and lakes become covered with ice; however, we know that despite appearances, the world is not dead. It is simply waiting for spring. We know that eventually spring will come and the gardens will bloom once more.
Despite appearances, Jesus was not dead. He had risen!
At first, Mary and the disciples failed to grasp the significance of the empty tomb. They thought that Jesus was dead and that grave robbers had stolen his body. When Jesus appeared to Mary, she was confused and thought he was the gardener. It was not until he called her by name that she recognized him (John 20:16).
In winter, everything looks dead—but we know nature is simply lying in wait for spring. This world might look like a mess right now—but we know it is waiting with eager anticipation for Christ to come again.
God can do amazing things. There are miracles everywhere, if we only stay alert and look for them. We do not always understand or see the hand of God at work. Sometimes, like Mary Magdalene, we are sad, lonely, and confused.
God is always there, especially during those times when we are too heartbroken to see Christ’s presence. Our Creator is constantly planting seeds in our hearts and in the world.
When Mary saw that Jesus had risen from the dead, she went and proclaimed the Good News. She became one of the first people to preach the gospel.
We are called to proclaim the Good News, just as Mary did on the first Easter Sunday: The tomb is empty! Christ is risen!
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.” Every Thursday, a group of friends and fellow Christian writers join together to share the Bible verses that are encouraging us during the week. What scripture verse has been on your heart lately? Let me know in the comments below!
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories By Gina
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Words of Hope
Claudia @ By Claudia Mose