by Caryl Moll
“Come, follow me…” Thabo beckoned. He was our guide for the morning and had proved to be a wonderful tracker and a wealth of interesting information about the bush. We all clambered out of the game drive vehicle to stretch our legs in the hot dust. It was mid-September 2019 and a gentle breeze played with the dry leaves amongst the trees.
We had travelled to one of the highest points of the reserve and the lookout was magnificent. Large rocks were strewn everywhere. In the distance, the Lowveld stretched out for miles and the horizon was all but haze. It was the end of winter and the surrounding landscape looked dry and parched. Rain was desperately needed. It was already 28 Degrees C and hardly 11 am. Some of the guests moved off to find shade.
“Come,” Thabo beckoned again. “I can show you your treasure now.” He obviously shared my enthusiasm.
Earlier that morning, before the game drive, I’d approached Thabo and asked him if he knew of the “Lazarus” bush. I’d only ever experienced the plant once before and didn’t hold much hope. But he broke into an enthusiastic, toothy smile.
“You know this bush?” he beamed.
“I love that bush! Do you have it here?
“Not many people know it,” he said. “Yes, indeed, we have it. But it is only on the highest ridges of the reserve.” He added, “I’ll find it for you.”
Now Thabo beckoned me again. This time to the edge of the rocky outcrop. Some of the guests saw us move off and followed with interest.
“What are you looking for?”
“A surprise,” I teased. “Something to be shared far and wide…”
Thabo stopped suddenly and pointed.
I dropped to the ground to inspect the dried-out plants. They were wedged in between a fissure in the rock. They looked shriveled and practically dead….
“Will this really work?” I wasn’t really convinced. But he nodded enthusiastically. “Can I please have a piece, Thabo? I promise I’ll share it with the others.”
“Of course,” he said. “I’ll break off a branch for you”.
He took time to select a portion of the plant that would not disturb the rest and broke it off for me. Some guests looked confused.
“But those are just dried sticks! What’s the fascination?”
Without saying much, I carefully split the branches, leaving some of the dried out ‘leaves’ on each and handed it to my companions who wanted one – willing them to experiment for themselves.
“What are we supposed to do with this?”
“Well,” I smiled. “When we eventually get back to the lodge, place this little stick into a full glass of water. Leave it there. By this evening you will begin to see the amazing transformation. It’s quite miraculous how everything can change in only a few hours”
As expected, the faithful Lazarus bush really rose to the occasion in its teaching. By the next morning, the guests excitedly gathered in the dining room. All were proudly showing off their pretty green branches. It was a beautiful lesson for us all, yet again. I couldn’t help but think of the Spirit of our wonderful Lord as he lifts us up as ‘dead branches’ to a new life in Him. Some knowing guests glowed with unsaid Christian understanding.
THE LAZARUS BUSH/ RESURRECTION PLANT
Nowadays, I think about the Lazarus bush every morning during my own morning shower. I often end up singing that familiar song….:
“Let your living water flow over my soul,
Let your Holy Spirit come and take control
Of every situation that is troubling my mind.
All my cares and worries onto you I roll.
Maybe it’s time for us all to emulate the Lazarus bush. Let’s send our own dried out roots, deep into the rocky crevasses of our earthly existence and soak up God’s amazing Living water. He’s only a prayer away – waiting for us to respond to His call.
May God bless you as you accept His amazing miracle.
With love, in Christ