The stems and branches of last spring’s asparagus are lifeless. Only its “berries” distinguish it from the tangle of dead annual weeds beside it. The red fruits, said to be mildly toxic to humans, must be bitter because they seem to have been largely avoided by birds, deer, and rabbits.
Ah, but we know that life for this asparagus is not as dismal as it appears. Beneath the crusty snow and frozen earth, its roots are but resting, getting ready for spring glory, just as the rotting pods are preparing to sow countless seeds.
This humble plant can encourage anyone whose New Year’s prospects look dim. “Life may not appear very promising right now,” the asparagus reassures, “but newness and wonder are coming!”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –JEREMIAH 29:11 (NIV)