It’s amazing what can come from something that is dead and decaying.
A few years back, my family cut down some trees that were dying in our grove. Stumps barely standing above ground were left to rot and the rest of the wood used for firewood. Over the years these stumps have had green moss and other interesting looking living organisms growing on them. But this year there was a more eye-catching living organisms off of one of the stumps.
I came home one weekend and my Mom, who really loves interesting mushrooms and fungus, was so excited about this different mushroom-like organism. She asked that I take a photo of it because she wanted it on her wall. This wasn’t much of a surprise to me (she already has a colorful mushroom photo I took in the Black Hills on her bathroom wall), so I figured it must be interesting. But I did not realize how unique and classy this mushroom would be and was taken by surprise when I saw it.
It amazed me how something so beautiful could grow and mature on something so dead and decaying. It was unique, had the perfect contrast and the white edges just stood out so wonderfully!
In a similar way, once we die to our sin in our lives, we become new and beautiful in Christ Jesus.
“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” -Ephesians 2:3-7
And as His creation, we have the opportunity to turn from our old life that we have died from and move on to the freedom He has given us. It is an amazing change in my life. And the dead stump reminds me that I was once ugly and decaying, but now I’ve made new and am growing each day in Christ.
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:3-7
So next time you see a neat fungus growing on something dead, remember the beauty God has created in you as you died to sin and became new. It is a simple thing that I tend to forget sometimes. I need to grow on my past and move on to be free, not stuck in my old ways. This beautiful fungus was given the gift of life and a chance to shine in a wooded area of greens and browns. Through it all, it stood out as unique and inspiring.