The Century Plant
The Century Plant
The century plant is a large species located in the southwest United States. Contrary to its name, the century plant only lives about 25-30 years. During that time, it grows to about ten feet high and about the same distance around. It may not be the prettiest plant in town, but it certainly makes its presence known. Yet, what make the century plant unique is not seen until the end of its lifecycle. As it nears death, the plant begins to grow a stalk out of its center. This stalk can grow to be as much as thirty feet high, and at its peak are the only blossoms the century plant will ever produce. The plant dies shortly after these blossoms reach full bloom. Yet, this is not the end of the century plant, for at its base new shoots begin to rise from the dry desert ground. In a sense, it could be said that the century plant exists in order to bring about the next generation of life.
This reminds me a lot of Jesus. He walked this earth as a common looking, no frills, kind of guy. In other words, he wasn’t the prettiest plant in the garden, but he had a big presence. His earthly lifecycle came to an end with a tall tree-like stalk…a cross. As Jesus hung from this cross the greatest effect of his ministry was coming into full blossom, that is, the restoration of his beloved creation. His resurrection from death results in new shoots that have continued to rise from the parched desert of life for over 2,000 years. Like the century plant, Jesus’ life is lived in order to bring about the next generation of life for all who will trust in him.
It may be that your life is feeling like a desert right now, either through sin, loss, or tests. In these times it is easy to lose sight of hope for the future. Yet, the cross of Jesus, like the century plant, gives us a vision of hope that life continues, even in desert places. Look to him and he will bring you through this time. It may not be with rushing rivers of relief or showers of cool blessings. It may come in the form of just enough water to survive. But make no mistake, life in the Son goes on.