Image of parrot tulip by Coanri/Rita via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

What’s your favourite flower?

Even though I certainly love roses, the tulip holds a special place in my heart. It’s not as showy or fragrant as a rose, but it brings such joy in spring after a long winter.

Among the many types of tulips, I especially like the variegated ones (with multicoloured petals).

But did you know that the dramatic colour combinations of variegated tulips are caused by a virus?

Gardeners had long noticed that tulip petals occasionally “broke” into unusual patterns. But it wasn’t until the late 1500s that botanists realized that the beautiful mixed colouring arising spontaneously in some tulips was actually the result of a disease.

While the tulip-breaking virus causes lovely variegated colouring, it also weakens the tulip bulb, eventually leading to the death of its genetic line.

So how is it that we can still enjoy variegated tulips today? Why haven’t they all died out?

Fortunately, botanists centuries ago learned to graft healthy tulip bulbs onto the diseased or “broken” ones, preserving their lineage. Today, we can enjoy countless cultivars in a dizzying array of colours and patterns.

Doesn’t this remind you of what God does for us?

Like the variegated tulips, we too are broken. Our brokenness is caused by the disease of sin in our lives. It will eventually kill us spiritually, leading to separation from God.

But God loved us too much to lose us. So He sent His Son Jesus to save us from our sins through His sacrificial death on the Cross.

Image by Tom from Pixabay

When the sinless perfection of Jesus is “grafted” into our brokenness as we accept Him as our Saviour, something beautiful happens.

We are redeemed. We are no longer marked for death, as it were; we can now live for eternity with God.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The thing that could have killed us, our sin, is wiped away.

All that remains is the beauty of what Christ has done for us!

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you,
God, will not despise.”

psalm 51:17

© 2023 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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