Perfect Poinsettias

by APC on December 02, 2015

We’ve officially entered the Christmas season now that Thanksgiving is over! Everything is arrayed with the colors of red and green, twinkly lights, and white snow.

Amid the colder temperatures, we see quite a bit of plant life contributing to the Christmas décor. The more common is the evergreen; however, we also see the vivid colors of the poinsettia.

The poinsettia bears dark green dentate leaves, bringing the true color of nature indoors. Popping through the greenery are blazing bracts leaves—most often mistaken for petals—which can be many colors. While red is the most common (and my personal favorite), bracts can emit a pallet of hues ranging from orange, pale green, cream, pink, white, or even a marbled array.

In a sea of green foliage, how do a few leaves (bracts) transform into such vibrant colors? To aid in the color-transformation, poinsettias are kept in darkness for at least 12 hours at a time for a minimum of 3 months. Once the colors appear, the poinsettia requires abundant light during the day to ensure the brightest color is attained and retained.

The bracts are the first thing people typically notice about a poinsettia. They’re bright, colorful, and distinct from the rest of the plant. Quite simply, they stand out. The bracts help identify the poinsettia as such, and speak to the beauty of the plant. The bracts have been modified from the way the rest of the poinsettia leaves look and act because they’ve endured a refining process, which has transformed them into their current brilliance.

As Christians we take every opportunity to let the light of Jesus shine through us into this darkened world (Matthew 5:16). We want to stand out, emulate the glory of Christ, and share the beauty of His Gospel with others. But, in order to be an effective light, we also have to undergo a process of change. Our progression to becoming a witness for Christ is likened to the poinsettia.

To look and act differently from everyone else in the world, we must be called out (I Peter 2:9). This requires separation from everyone else (II Corinthians 6:17). God draws us near to Him, covers us with His blood, and gives us a new heart and a new mind (Ezekiel 36:26).

Most of the time, a time of darkness will accompany this separation. When God works to refine us, it’s not always an easy process for us and for those around us. We may face a time of trial during our transformation, walking through the valley, while God works out our imperfections. And, like Jesus, we will experience times where we’re attacked by the wiles of the devil.

Jesus was led by the Spirit into a the wilderness to endure a time of separation, refinement, and spiritual examination (Matthew 4:1). He was tempted by the devil to oppose the plan of God and to serve him—just as we are in our walk with God. But, when Jesus emerged from the wilderness (darkness), He had been transformed! He was ready to embark on His ministry journey and be a light to this world (Matthew 5:14).

For each of us to be a light—a witness for Christ—we will undergo the same process as Jesus (and the poinsettia). A time of darkness and separation is required before we can be transformed and our brilliant colors of the Holy Ghost emerge! When we endure chastisement from God and/or a spiritual trial, God’s wants to stir up our faith and the Holy Ghost in us. When we emerge from this experience, we can share the richness of our colorful blessings with others. We’ll have a testimony that shines brightly and will definitely be something that others will immediately notice! Let’s allow God today to work His way of perfection in us so that we can bring others to Him.