"What happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direction energies wisely." (Galatians 5:23, from The Message)
I love this time of year—my backyard garden comes alive. Right now, I have asparagus growing, the herb garden is flourishing, forget-me-nots are shyly invading. But most spectacular are the irises, their blooms a pale but royal purple. Those irises come back year after year, spreading further unless I divide them. Their spiky leaves are dramatic; the stalks that hold the blossoms are easily four feet tall. They just appear—a gift. They are exuberant.
The verse above, a translation ...1