I love watching nature come into bloom; the idea of planting a garden excites me. Thrills me. Cultivating something this earth was made for… the natural course of life. As roots beneath the surface grow steadily, all of a sudden – up through the dirt and grime springs hope.Gardening isn’t easy, though. I imagine gardening is one of the greatest tests of patience one can endure. After meeting the preparatory demands of a garden, you crave the sweet rewards – beautifully painted petals, perhaps fresh budding fruit, or a sturdy selection of starch and healthily amassing vegetables. Now that the hard work is done, that’s what you’re waiting for. That’s where your satisfaction will lie.
But you spend so many weeks, months hoping…that you give up. You start to wonder if you did something wrong while setting this whole garden thing up. Maybe you’re not even growing a garden, and the flora around you still aren’t budding yet. In that situation, hope starts to wane. This well-known and understood truth that plants grow, bud, and flower starts to seem more like some kook’s fantasy than a promised reality.
So when that ugly bush in front of your door blooms into lovely fuschia, you can hardly believe your eyes. You mean that dumb bush you’ve been staring at for the past two months is actually capable of that caliber of majesty?
I don’t know about you, but my life is like that a lot. Out of impatience, I scorn the idea that good things are to come – that I’ll see the fruits of my labor. It would be naive of me to think otherwise. So, I paint everything around me grey, (what can I say? I’m an Oregonian; it’s all we know) and simultaneously stop believing in rainbows. There comes a point when I’m no longer able to visualize life in bloom.
So naturally, when I saw lush purple flowers bursting forth from the dry, dull bush in front of my apartment door, I did a double take. Is that the same bush? Did the landscaping people… no, it wasn’t a transplant bush. It was the same physical plant – only now it is thriving, blooming, alive.
God promises us that if we remain rooted in Him, we’ll thrive. His goodness is the soil we were made for. His love provides the strength our weak, sprouting seedlings that we call bodies need in order to be secure, and Jesus’ light provides us with a means to grow, reach out, and bear fruit more delightful than we know how to imagine.