Devotions

Ugly – But with Potential

By Mary Loudermilk
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“But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, New English Translation).

I grow ugly houseplants. Not intentionally—I just don’t have a green thumb. I also can’t bear to throw out a plant that still has any life showing. Even if it is misshapen, with brownish spots, and unattractive. One such plant now lives by a bright sunny window of my home.

There’s Life!

The plant in question came to me in a strange way. A friend and I offered to pick someone up following a medical test. I sat curbside while she walked inside the hospital to lead the lady to the car. A few minutes later, my friend returned with the lady and carrying a potted plant. Did she buy it in the gift shop, I wondered? And why? She explained, “I was walking down the hallway and someone just handed it to me and walked on. I don’t know why.” She, in turn, gave the plant to me. It’s not pretty, but it’s alive. And so, it sits by my window because I can’t bear to throw out something that still has some potential.

I wonder if that plant is symbolic of how God found us. Sin had made our lives ugly and scarred, and many would not see any potential for good. Yet God in His mercy did not give up on us. He knew that with loving care, we could be nurtured into a thing of beauty. He was not willing to toss us aside while there was still a chance for us to turn into something lovely.

We Can Thrive

God is the Master Gardener. He knows just the right things to do to nurture us and take away the ugliness that marred our appearance. Under His tender care we can thrive and reach our full potential.

I looked at my ugly plant again this morning as I watered it. No, I won’t throw it away. It’s a gentle reminder of God’s amazing grace in my life. God sees beyond the ugly to what I can become as I live my new life in Him.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for loving me when I was unlovable. You saw beauty when no one else did. Each day I am flooded with thanksgiving at the mercy You offer. Your love and mercy are never ending.

 

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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