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But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-9

During times of transition with things changing in unexpected ways and happening faster than anticipated, distractions come in diverse ways. Staying focused on the details of events taking place proves difficult to do. Recently, the time changed. Spring has arrived. March Madness, (college basketball) is now in full swing.

Some conversations are filled with anxiety, disappointment, and even a little bit of despair. Instead of letting the nightly news dominate our thoughts, people need to hear some stories filled with hope.

Last year in February, my pet dog, Rocky, started having major health issues. We made it through Lent and Easter, really enjoying the changing season and all the signs of new life. Tomatoes and squash were planted in the garden. Some flowers were coming up and green grass tried to cover the yard.

On Wednesday, May 16, Rocky Dog had to be put to sleep. On Monday, May 21, my friend Judi came over to my house to help me plant some more flowers. We filled two large containers with petunias of assorted colors and put them out by the sidewalk. Several pots with daises, geraniums, and dahlias decorated the front porch. Purple, white, and yellow iris bloomed across the yard below the front porch. Along the fence, some of the other rose bushes already had green leaves.

However, my favorite yellow rose bush looked terrible. With nothing but ugly, dry, bare, brown branches poking out of the ground, I told Judi to remove it and throw it in the trash. She had to dig deeper than anticipated to get it out of the ground. Much to our surprise, the roots still had some life in them!

Instead of throwing the rose bush away, we put the plant in a large bucket of water and placed it out back. For about a month, every time I watered the yard and garden, I would pour some more water in the bucket containing the rose bush. Day by day, the roots grew stronger. Then, some bright green leaves appeared.

Time came to plant the rose bush back out front by the fence. Daily, I joyfully watched it grow and thrive. Later on, I had the great delight of seeing, smelling, and touching some of the most beautiful yellow roses ever!

Yellow Roses Oct. 2018

After all the snow, ice, and cold weather this year (2019), it will certainly be interesting to see how this rose bush survived.

As we continue our journey through Lent and celebrate Easter this year, may each one of us not be so easily distracted by on-going events and circumstances. As much as possible, stay focused on the details. Keep on telling the stories of hope.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. – 1 Peter 3:15

Prayer: Gracious, loving God, help us be aware of things going on around us and how these events are affecting the people we come in contact with daily. Help us to speak words of hope, words of encouragement, words of life and love in Jesus name. – Amen.

Betty Weaver, Pastor

First Baptist Church

Center, CO

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