I love flowers, tall fluffy trees, bushy floral explosions and the feel of green grass tickling your toes. I am originally from Washington state and grew up thinking that everyone drives to school looking at a giant snow covered mountain and goes for a walk and picks wild strawberries off the road side.
Of course, you know most of the world isn’t this lush green wonderland I spent the majority of my childhood in, especially if you also live in Texas…where plants come to die….
Maybe it was growing up helping my Mom garden (although begrudgingly) but the past few years, I have been determined to grow beautiful flowers. In spite of the 100 degree heat, despite the near 100% humidity and the frequent droughts that Texas experiences.
My Northwest heart needs to see, green and life and beauty. I am sorry to all my dear friends in the state of Texas but natural beauty is very hard to come by here. So I have dug plant beds, and planted and re-planted about a dozen different species praying that some kind of flower (and I do not define flower as a cactus…I know those grow here…they are also ugly and have spikes)
My husband and I decided to re-plant our flower beds, on what we would come to find out was the hottest day of the year. I found out that day that we are both stubborn enough to complete the goal. This meant that we waited until 8 p.m. at night to re-plant our flower beds because it was so hot we couldn’t be outside any earlier. We spent several hours alternating between one person holding a light and the other person planting the flowers.
I woke up that night to the sound of torrential rain. All I could think about was my sweet fragile flowers we had resolutely planted the night before. I worried that their young root systems would not survive the heavy down pour.
They survived, sort of….the past month and a half I have spent re-securing the flowers and watering what half dead, shriveled flowers.
I was frustrated, we had read all the tags at Home Depot and only bought the flowers who claimed to be “drought tolerant” and “summer survivors.” I researched online and asked locals how to save my plants. Opinions were mixed and mostly my questions were answered with shrugged shoulders and “ well its hard to say…its hard to grow anything here…except hibiscus and cactus”…but we already know how I feel about that. For several weeks only our hibiscus and one rose bush produced any flowers. Virtually every morning, I got up and watered the plants and prayed, “God please give me some flowers.”
After experiencing immense loss and grief this year, I needed to see beauty, I needed to see new life. I needed to see something survive against the odds.
Last week I was out of town for most of the week and weekend. As I drove up to the driveway, my heart leapt…there were flowers…pink ones, red ones, blue ones…(this is starting to sound like a Dr. Suess book..ha, ha) Almost every plant had a flower on it. These aren’t the kind of flowers that would win a prize but they were flowers. There was green and there was beauty in my yard and it was such a sweet gift from the Lord.
I love how God uses creation to speak to us. If we are attentive we can catch glimpses of who God is and learn about Him through nature. He is the divine designer of it all.
This morning as I completed my watering ritual, I thought about how many days over the past few weeks I wanted to give up on our plants. I thought about not watering them anymore and resigning myself to yet another summer of dried, dead landscape. But I persevered; I kept watering even when there were no signs of life. It reminded me of life and how so often God calls us to persevere even when we want to give up. Even when it seems like there is no hope.
One of my favorite verses to read when I want to give up is:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Friend, I encourage you today to remain faithful.
Are you believing for a friend or family member to know Jesus, keep believing.
Are you asking the Lord for a miraculous healng, keep praying, keep believing, keep asking.
Are you working in a job you hate? Work hard, remain faithful.
Are you loving a person who doesn’t love you in return, keep loving.
What is it that God is calling you to remain faithful too? Have there been times in your life where you wanted to give up, but you didn’t and were able to see the rewards of your diligence? What have you learned about God through nature?