Christmas cactus bloom in winter.

Christmas cactus bloom in winter.

This glorious Christmas cactus had humble beginnings. Five years ago, it was one sprig of greenery tucked into a plastic bag with a dab of water. A co-worker gifted the stem to me because she knew I loved plants.

I took the slender branch and nestled it into potting soil. Making sure the ground stayed moist, but not too wet, I waited to see if the plant would adapt and grow.

Little by little, another shoot developed. With each succeeding year, the thriving bundle required transplanting, and the flowers became more plentiful. This plant blooms in winter, long after most others fade.

In dreary times of life, can we be the vibrant colors to bring others hope? Like rosy buds promising beauty lies ahead, can we share encouragement that the future promises brighter days?

As the Christmas season begins, this hardy plant reminds me of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night. In the midst of darkness, the glory of the Lord shone and an angel told them not to panic.

“Do not be afraid,” the heavenly messenger comforted. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11 NIV).

Let’s keep that reassurance close to our hearts. We are not alone. Difficulties will be overcome. Like the shepherds, let’s search for the fulfillment of God’s promises and praise all that He is doing.

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Great resource for caring for Christmas cactus