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1 Corinthians 13:13 – The three most important things to have are faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love. (NIRV)

Rhubarb grows abundantly where I live. In fact, someone pointed this out to me not long ago and suggested that I should perhaps write a devotional about it. So I took it to heart and surfed the web for some information about this plant. I was amazed by what I discovered.

Rhubarb is a wonderful addition to the kitchen, as it can be used to create marvellous, scrumptious recipes. It is also a vigorous, hardy, and prolific plant, resistant to drought, relatively free of insect and disease problems, and tolerates most soils, though it does not do well in hot climates.

As an herb, it is used as an astringent, diuretic, purgative, and antiseptic, and helps to balance the digestive system. There are also claims concerning its ability to promote blood circulation, relieve the pain of injury, and reduce autoimmune reactions.

As I pondered this information about this wonderful garden gift, I was reminded of the gift of love which Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, where he states that the most important thing, the greatest thing to have in life is love. Love is hardy and vigorous, flourishing within the soil of almost any human heart when we as Christians plant it with an attitude, or climate, of patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, and a non-judgemental spirit. Such plantings have the power to become prolific, spreading in ways we never dreamed possible.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, love even continues to grow and prosper amidst times of spiritual drought in our lives, as God our Father tenderly prunes and cultivates it. Love also promotes relief from the pain and the injuries of life with all its ups and downs as, much like an antiseptic, it gently cleans and soothes our wounds. It is also the greatest and only cure known for the dire illness of mankind, which is sin. Through the love of Christ and His work on the cross, our innermost beings become balanced and healthy through the purging of all our sin, which places all those who accept and believe by faith back into right relationship with God, our Father. In fact, much like the rhubarb plant, the only climate in which love wilts and may even die is when we as God's people seek to plant it in the heat of our own anger, judgemental criticism, rudeness, impatience, and selfishness, under the guise of godly discipline.

Rhubarb grows abundantly where I live, but my prayer is that my plantings of love will be even more prolific!

Prayer: Lord God and wonderful Father, fill each of our hearts this day with a climate of patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, and a non-judgemental spirit, that our plantings of love may take root in the hearts of our friends and neighbours, becoming prolific beyond our wildest hopes and dreams. Bless us with the gifts of faith, hope, and especially love, the greatest one of all. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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