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Christmas Azalea

Be ready in season and out of season.  2 Timothy 4:2 NKJV

Photo courtesy of morguefile and Ponx. It was a dreary day during the first week of December, and I was busy putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorations. I stepped onto the front porch to adjust my wreath and saw something shocking.

One of my azalea bushes sported a single red flower. As I stepped closer to inspect the bush, my mind quickly calculated the months until blooming season—three to four months away. I blinked my eyes, thinking I was mistaken and something red was caught on the branch. But sure enough, there it was in all its glory. One magnificent bloom. Out of season. The sight of something so beautiful and unexpected brightened my day and made me smile.

The Bible tells us to be ready in season and out of season. This statement makes me wonder how ready I am to follow God’s leading and be a blessing to others—in season and out. When it’s convenient and when it’s not. Whether I’m prepared or whether I’m not. When I’m expecting it and when I’m not.

Another Scripture (Proverbs 25:11) says, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. What a perfect picture of words of blessing spoken to the right person at just the right time and in the right circumstance.

The word fitly means proper, appropriate, and suitable. In other words … in season.

The holidays provide the best opportunity to practice this gift of blessing others with our time, our love, and our words. Hearts are open and more ready to receive than at any other time of the year. So, let’s be like my Christmas azalea and proudly let the light of Jesus shine through us as never before. His love is never out of season.

(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Ponx.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)

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Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an author, freelance editor, workshop leader, and writing mentor with a passion to encourage other writers and help them sharpen their skills. She is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Andrea has been published online and in numerous anthologies. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript: Writing and Editing Tips to Keep Your Book Out of the Editorial Graveyard, The Gift and Praying for the Prodigal. For more information or to contact her, visit www.andreamerrell.com or www.thewriteediting.com.