A Gift of Tulips

viaadmin Volume 40

How we appreciate those bright, multicoloured harbingers of spring! In Ottawa alone, Canada’s capital city, over a million tulips bloom each year. Such a profusion of this particular spring flower in Ottawa, is a result of a kindness shown over sixty years ago.

During the dark days of World War II, there was an urgent need for a haven for the heir of the Dutch throne. So, in June of 1940, Princess Juliana and her family took up residence in Ottawa. They remained as guests until the end of the war.

In the Netherlands, starvation and suffering continued to ravage the country. By the winter of 1944-45 there was no electricity, no fuel, and very little food. In that last winter alone, 18,000 Dutch people succumbed to starvation. In the spring of 1945 the Canadian troops participated in the liberation of the Netherlands. Lasting bonds were created between the two countries.

After the war, the people of the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada’s capital as a gift of appreciation. Princess Juliana sent another 20,000. Each year Ottawa still receives 20,000 tulip bulbs from the Royal Family and the Dutch Bulb Growers as a thank you for sheltering the Royal Family and for Canada’s help during WWII.

Almost two thousand years ago, another place of safety was provided and another liberation was secured for countless millions of people. Because the first man, Adam, disobeyed God, the whole world was under the control and bondage of Satan. “Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). A holy God cannot overlook sin. It must be punished. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, He bore the punishment for the sin of the whole world to God’s eternal satisfaction. For those who repent of their sins and accept His offer of salvation, He becomes the true Liberator and place of refuge from God’s wrath against sin. Yet, relatively few have shown any appreciation or thanked God for His great love gift in the person of His Son. Have you? Have you accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour? He is the greatest gift you can ever receive.

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