Crusty Splotches of Beauty Growing On A Rock
“Then God said, “Let the earth produce plants. Some plants will make grain for seeds. Others will make fruit with seeds in it. Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant.” And it happened. The earth produced plants. Some plants had grain for seeds. The trees made fruit with seeds in it. Each seed grew its own kind of plant. God saw that all this was good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.” Genesis 1:11-13 (ICB)
Lichens are made up of many complex parts and created by a process call symbiosis. A short definition of symbiosis would be; "When two organisms need each other to survive and exist in a mutually beneficial relationship - that makes for a symbiotic relationship called mutualism." When a fungus and an algae get together, it's called a lichen. Just like the picture above, lichens look like dry, crusty splotches and they can grow on almost anything. They even grow on rocks which give them nothing but a substrate (supporting structure.)
Even though a rock is essentially dead and worthless, lichens can cause the rock to be a part of the rebirth and reproduction of life within the earth. The small crusty splotch of lichen can actually cause parts of rock to flake off and become part of the soil. Lichens have an acidic base that helps to break down the surface of the rock. Even though lichens can grow on rocks and in some of the inhospitable habitats on earth, they cannot grow with polluted air. Lichens and their health are good indications of the air quality in a region.
So what do lichens have to do with mercy and grace? I think mercy and grace are symbiotic in their nature of mutualism. In the big picture of eternity as regards to heaven and hell, you can't have grace without mercy and go to heaven. God gave His only Son to die on a cross because He had mercy on us. He made a way to avoid the hell we deserve because of our dirty deeds (sins.) First we receive the mercy of forgiven sin and then we're born again into the grace of receiving Christ.
Lichens grow on rocks and cause those rocks to become soil where plants will eventually grow and reproduce. Even though we're dead (like rocks) in our sin, God used mercy and grace to break us down into good soil.
“We were spiritually dead because of the things we did wrong against God.
But God gave us new life with Christ.
You have been saved by God’s grace.”
Ephesians 2:5 (ICB)
”he came to save us.
Not because of any virtuous deed that we have done
but only because of his extravagant mercy.”
Titus 3:5 (TPT)
Without fresh air, lichens will die. Without the breath of God, we will die. When we accept His mercy and grace, His Holy Spirit lives and breathes through us. As we release the hardness of our hearts to Him, He breaks us down and gives us hearts of flesh - or fertile ground worthy of reproducing His Love. God is our Rock and we're the beauty of His creation. Even when we're just crusty splotches on a rock, we're still His creation in progress!
DAY THREE WORD
“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,
And all their host by the breath of His mouth.”
Psalm 33:6 (AMP)
“The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life [which inspires me].”
Job 33:4 (AMP)
“But there is [a vital force and] a spirit [of intelligence] in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.”
Job 32:8 (AMP)
What hardness in your heart still needs to become flesh?
How are you reproducing God's Love?
Spend some time showing love to people you find hard to be around and you would rather avoid.
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.
Jesus loves you and so do we.
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