Roses or Potatoes?

This devotion was originally published in The Upper Room.


As it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

The instructions for an unusual gardening project looked simple enough. I wedged a cut rose stem into a potato, buried the potato in a dirt-filled flowerpot, and fashioned a tiny greenhouse from an empty water bottle. In a few months, the directions proclaimed, I would have a lovely rosebush. All winter I watered that pot, but had to concede in May that my dry brown stem was dead. Imagine my surprise when a small green sprout eventually appeared — and grew into a thriving potato plant!

The Bible describes many surprises that resulted from following God’s instructions. Samuel went to anoint a king for Israel and discovered that God’s choice was David, a teenager and the youngest of many brothers (1 Sam. 16). Peter found a coin in a fish’s mouth (Matt. 17:24-27). Paul expected to preach in Bithynia but instead traveled to Macedonia (Acts 16:7-10). These and other stories tell us that God’s ways are infinitely surprising. We can’t imagine all that God has planned for us, both in this lifetime and in eternity.

- Linda P. Hamilton (Colorado, USA)

Thank you, Father, for all the things you have prepared for us to be and do. Amen.

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