When I visited with a friend in Rockford, Illinois, she took me to see the Sinnissippi Gardens. We marveled at all the beautiful varieties of flowers we saw in the greenhouse there. Then we came to the century plant. Glancing up at its treelike thick shoot, we saw it had burst through the glass greenhouse roof!
The Sinnissippi story
“Would you tell us about this unusual tree and what it has done to this greenhouse roof?” I asked a nearby worker.
“Certainly,” he said. “Sinnissippi has had this century plant for twenty years and it has never bloomed. Now just this spring it sent up this stalk and one morning we noticed it had burst out of the roof! See up there? It has buds on it now and they will soon bloom for the first and only time in this plant’s existence. Then this century plant will die.”
We went outside and gazed at the giant, asparagus-like stalk that rose into the air more than ten feet above the greenhouse roof. Soon the buds on the numerous short branches would bloom and mature into new little plants complete with roots, before falling to the ground.
Just like Jesus
Producing those new little plants brings death to the century plant. Because of Christ’s death on the cross for our sins, millions of people have received forgiveness for sin and everlasting life when they received Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Through dying to themselves, Paul, Peter, and other selfless servants of Christ became the means of bringing life to many others who have carried on their work of evangelizing the world after they were gone.
Through giving up their lives rather than to deny Christ, countless martyrs down through the centuries have been instrumental in helping thousands of others to come to life through Christ by their noble examples.
The century plant reminds me of some Christians I would call late bloomers. One dear friend of mine started living for Jesus and leading souls to Him when she was in her fifties. She also has had a ministry of comfort and helps to many. So she has borne much fruit in these latter years of her life.
Even so, it is never too late for us to begin serving the Lord and helping others to know Him. It is never too late to start laying up our treasure in heaven.
Jesus said, “Herein in my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8).