Meaning of Green

Well! The world has changed so quickly! And things continue to be in a state of upheaval as I write this post. Matters that were once fairly stable and routine have become unknowns. Most of us have had to adapt and grow during this Coronavirus Pandemic. Self isolation and social distancing are the new buzz words. I’m giggling a little because my introvert self is lovin’ it! What?! We don’t have to go out? No problem here, I have a hundred and one projects to tackle… it’s all you other people that are home that seem to be getting in the way. Seriously though, I pray that you all are safe and keeping the faith. Be encouraged that God knows, and loves His children.

Perhaps you’ve been like me and survived your first week at home with kids in tow, trying to keep one step ahead of the chaos. You’ve worked hard at making sure everyone is sane and that there are enough snacks and toilet paper as you juggle the finances to be sure things stay afloat when there may be less work available. Take a deep breath with me, my friend, and let’s pull out the last colour in our crayon box: Green.

“The grass is greener on the other side” seems an appropriate proverb for our current affairs. We may think our situation seems dire compared to others, but it’s not true. Our blessings are many if we look for them. The “Green, Green Grass of Home” is truly a pleasant place to be for most of us. Our people are there, and we feel safe among them. Maybe we just need to see this as a forced season of rest. Certain shades of Green make us feel refreshed, relaxed and in a place of peace and security. We often talk of the colour green with financial security, wealth and abundance. The colour green lies in the middle of the solar spectrum and the human eye can see the most shades of green, compared to other shades. It must be one of God’s favourites, too, because there is so much of it in our environment! Which is also why marketers use it so often to help us “go green” as we associate it with all things environmentally friendly and “naturally good for us”.

But in the fateful words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being Green”. Hopefully you are not “feeling a little green” from all these idioms, because despite the green Irish luck of leprechauns, too much green can leave you feeling lazy and apathetic. Or “green with envy”. Yes, green is certainly one colour we use a lot in our everyday language! But what about in the scriptures? In the King James Version of our Bible, the word “green” appears 44 times, interestingly, only 4 times in the New Testament. And most Bible scholars would agree that of those 44 times, most reflect growth, renewal and immortality.

So let’s look at some examples:

“Happy are those who trust in the Lord… They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green. They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 CEB

“All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel 17:24 NIV

“For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23:31 NIV

And one of my personal favourites:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
  He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.”

Psalm 23 NIV

So we see the idea of growth — literal trees that either wither or flourish depending on their life circumstances. And so it is with us. If we are attached to the vine of Life, and abide in the fullness of His love and care, we will flourish and grow. Even in uncertain times, like in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, we can rest assured that the One who is in control of the growth of the tallest tree, will not allow us to dry up and wither away. He will prune and shape us to start new, healthy growth. He will water and fertilize with encouragement and gentle prodding. He will give us strong foundations and rich soil to feed our needs. He will shine down on us as we timidly raise our tiny shoots heavenward. Even the “greenest” of us will begin to bloom and blossom in time.

So perhaps Kermit was right: it’s not easy bein’ green. But in a world of uncertainty, I must take hold of the promises I see in God’s word, and trust that He is looking out for us, and intends for us to be forever alive.


   

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Meaning of Gold and Silver

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Despite all the unprecedented things going on in the world right now, what, with lock downs, quarantines and virus watching, time still has a way of ticking on. And today happens to land on St. Patrick’s day (March 17th)… so you think I’d be doing some musing about Green, but I’ve changed my mind and have decided to focus on the pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow… and its metallic friend, hi ho Silver. I think we will save Green for next week. So, for all of you who are practicing social distancing and catching up on blog posts… welcome to the colouring party!

When I was younger, gold, silver, copper and all the other metallic colours came in a separate, “deluxe” crayon box… so you knew they were something special. All shiny and sparkly. Gold and Silver are no less special today. I decided to lump them together in our study, but there are some significant differences between the two colours. In some ways they are on opposite ends of the colour spectrum… gold on the “warm”, fiery yellow side and silver on the “cool” blue or grey, moonlit end of the colour wheel. Nonetheless, we are going to consider them together and under the general idea of precious metals.

Often associated with money, gold and silver “meanings” generally follow those connotations: wealth, flashy, proud, expensive. Reserved for the rich and used for choice occasions and events. Gold is often linked with Heaven and the “riches” that await us. Silver is a bit more “common”, although no less precious. Silver in more modern times is often associated with technology and the idea of sterile, mechanical worlds (and often the fear associated with that). Both precious metals are ancient forms of money. Silver was usually stamped with images, whereas gold was melted into shapes. In the King James version of the Bible, gold is mentioned 417 times, silver 320 times, and “money” 140 times. Obviously, God has a lot to say about these precious colours.

Let’s start with Gold. First mentioned in Genesis, gold is mentioned “in the land” as it’s elemental form. Exodus and much of the Old Testament goes on to describe the melting down of gold jewelry for golden idols, the ark of the covenant, the temple, the golden calf, the golden arches… oh, no, wait, that’s something completely different. The value in gold as an element seems to be in the fact that it can withstand purification and the process of “going through the fire”. It’s the pure, end product that is most valued. The perfection, if you will. It’s Heaven for believers. The final goal at the end. It’s what God originally intended for us.

Silver, on the other hand, is a little more “commonplace”. It’s the currency that was used in day to day transactions. Both Joseph and Jesus were “bought” with pieces of silver. Could we say that it represents our earthly lives? I read that there is no mention of silver in the Bible’s description of Heaven. I haven’t checked out that fact, so let me know in the comments if you know otherwise. Silver is said to be the redemptive colour of Truth. It’s how we are “bought” here on earth and all our natural tendencies. Once we acknowledge the truth that Jesus has redeemed us on the cross, we’ve been stamped as His. Like the emperor’s stamp in ancient forms of money. He becomes our ruler until we reach the golden gates. Then we become the one He designed for us from the very beginning.

Now, we have to remember that these are all “interpretive”, and the colours really have no magic formula or redemptive properties themselves. The prophet Haggai reminds us that all the silver and gold belongs to the Lord (Haggai 2:8), as does all the the things we hold precious in this world. It’s just interesting to muse about and see what connections we can make. Like this Fun Fact: an average 70 kg person’s blood contains 0.2mg of gold floating around in it. Apparently, it is beneficial for our joint health; and because it is a good conductor of electricity, gold helps our neurons fire — making for good brain connections. Silver, however, is not used by the body at all and is eliminated. Too much silver can actually be dangerous and with long term exposure to the element, turn your skin a blue-grey colour.

So. As the world ponders the developments currently unfolding in the COVID-19 pandemic, and we watch the stock markets fall, and many of us worry about health and our jobs as we reduce our social interactions and cancel large gatherings, I hope you are reminded that like gold, we are being refined for the other side. When our common, silver-lined comforts like toilet paper are being hoarded, it becomes toxic to us. Our minds should be focused on what we were made for before sin entered our world. That we look forward to the streets of gold and not simply on the exchange of silver pieces here on Earth. We have a Hope, beloveds, not simply a “silver lining” in uncertain times, but a true, solid, refined by fire, Hope in Christ. So stay Golden, my friends.


I’m excited to be hosting this colouring party here at mittonmusings.com! I can’t wait until we pull out the next colour from our box of crayons next week! Don’t want to miss the adventure?! Join us and receive the muses each week via email! Subscribe here.