Parable of the Petunias

A couple of summers ago, I carefully planted pots of red and coral petunias and geraniums.  Since I was having two wedding receptions in my back yard that summer, I wanted to make sure that my pots were extra beautiful.  They were my babies. I watered, fertilized, and dead headed them diligently.  They were bright and beautiful for Reception #1.

A few weeks later, I started to notice that one of my pots full of petunias was not doing well.  One by one the petunias started to shrivel up and I saw little black spots everywhere.  Finally every flower was dead, and the greenery was brown and shriveled up.

But I still had Elle water that pot every morning.  I was in denial and she wasn’t happy about it.  She would complain, “Why do I still have to water this plant? It’s dead.”  I replied, “Just keep watering it.  You never know what can happen.”  We kept watering the dead pot diligently; we sprayed for bugs, and my husband even put some Miracle Grow on it.  We still had reception #2 to go and I wasn’t giving up on my petunia pot yet.

A couple of weeks later I went out to water my pots while the kids ate breakfast.  To my delight, I saw one red petunia blooming in an otherwise dead pot.  I screamed, ran back in the house with excitement, and made the kids come out and see the surprise.  They were all so excited about the bloom.

I remembered this talk given by David A. Bednar, counseling parents to look for spontaneous opportunities to bear testimony of Christ, so right then and there, we had a morning devotional in our pajamas around the flower pot.

I asked the kids, “How does this flower pot testify of Jesus Christ?”

Now that question might seem random, but I had been pondering about this scripture for some time:

“All things are created and made to bear record of me [Jesus Christ], both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.”   (Moses 6:63)

Crew said something about how Jesus made the flowers.

Elle answered, “Jesus died and came back to life just like the flowers died and came back to life.”

And I mentioned that the petunias reminded me of repentance— that no matter what you have done, what mistakes you have made, how far you are gone, or how dead to the Spirit you seem, you can always come back through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  His mercy is available to all. It just takes diligent watering, fertilizing, dead heading and some bug killer and Miracle Grow.

I am happy to report that the pot of flowers came back with full force and they were beautiful for Reception #2 as well.

I am grateful for a pot of petunias one summer morning that reminded me and my children that all things bear record of Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter!


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