Colossians 1:17 – He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (RSV)

Since retiring to live on a hobby farm with my daughter's family, I have taken an interest to try my hand on gardening. I can be found at sunrise planting, raking, cutting grass, and pulling weeds as tall as corn stalks. I set my-size tools into an old rusty wheelbarrow, and aim to one corner or another of the compound.

I was given permission to dig a flowerbed between the rye field and the county road. To my own surprise, it became over 50 metres long. My new neighbours brought me plants to try, and the whole thing became a conversation piece in the county as folks regularly watched the development and changes I made.

A tiny Angels Trumpet grew to be hundreds of trumpets in no time.

I happened to catch the news one day, that some teens were hospitalized after helping themselves to the seeds of this flower. I listened in disbelief. The announcer asked everyone growing them to destroy them voluntarily. It took me a while to pull them all out, and, with mixed emotions, I kept asking why anyone would endanger himself or herself in such a way, obsessed into a bad habit, getting into harm's way. Or could it be a cry for help in some undisclosed manner?

As a teen, long ago, I had asked my father if I could start smoking, like some of my peers. I still remember my dad's face as, sternly, in a caring voice, he said one word: "No". The same answer would have been given to drinking alcohol, or any other unthinkable consumption.

I thank my dad for standing for what would be for my best. Our earthly parents do their best with their limited power. God's unlimited love reaches our mind, body, and soul, above and beyond our human frailties, helping us to say "no" to temptations, and helping us to get out of them. Angels in heaven rejoice and praise God for the ones who choose to be disciplined, corrected, and loved by God. It is true that we end up pulling "weeds" of all sizes out of our sinful nature in our walk with the Lord. In the cross of Christ we have a new beginning. He said he would finish the work he has began in us: the work of salvation for life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are before all things. You are before the teens today who seek ways to destroy their youth. Send your angels to watch over them, and keep them from getting into harm's way. Hold them up in the things that are of you. Bring them into all things together with you. Amen.

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Kirsti Sipila <>
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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