Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their season; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.
Spring officially arrived two weeks ago. Those of us living in the South enjoyed warmer weather for several weeks prior to the change of seasons. It's a much deserved and welcome break after the frigid pounding we endure this past winter.
Don't get me wrong. I love winter with its invigorating chill and gorgeous, if intermittent, snow falls. But, this winter sees record lows, tons of rain, and two paralyzing snow storms which I'm glad to put behind me. I'm so ready for temps in the 70s!
However brutal the winter, though, it has a most wondrous effect upon our daffodils. I plant these in our woods several years ago. They emerge and bloom plentifully the following spring, bringing such color and joy to the brown, drab forest floor. But, every spring after that? Only a few brave souls bud and blossom. The rest send up green, supple shoots and leave it at that.
What a disappointment! I think, perhaps, I should fertilize them? Dig them up and plant them elsewhere? But, no. I decide to be passive and allow nature to take its course. What's meant to be, I reason, is meant to be.
So, honestly, as this spring encroaches and the daffodils sprout, I don't hold out much hope for a bumper crop. I'm resigned to whatever it is these plants will do. And, I decide to savor any blooms with which we are graced.
One afternoon in late February, my husband, Danny, and I are sitting on our deck basking in the sunshine we've seen so little of this winter. Something catches Danny's eye and he stands on the lower seat of our double bench to scan the yard below.
"Martha, look! You've got to see this!"
Immediately, I'm right beside him.
"Down there," he points. "I've never seen so many daffodils!"
I can't believe my eyes. The plants are absolutely bursting with buds! Not only these in the back yard, but also the army I planted in our front yard forest is swelling with promise!
"It has to be because of the unusually cold and wet winter we had," Danny surmises.
It must be. Our previous winters have been milder and drier. Too mild and too dry for the bulbs to be adequately nourished.
And, isn't it like that at times in our lives? We go through the storms and the torrents of suffering, loss, and hardships and are left wondering, Where is God in all this? Why am I going through such troubling times? Lord, I don't understand . . .
But, it is precisely in these times of trial when God is honing us for something better. Helping us to see how we must depend on Him, lean on Him, with every fiber of our being. For sometimes, it's when our souls are damp and shivering with fear or worry or hopelessness, that the Lord's light shines the brightest.
He leads us out of winter's shadow into the gloriously shining spring.
Fills our hearts with unspeakable joy.
And, in His love, we bloom!
Do you have a favorite flower you look forward to seeing every spring?
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for sending us the rain, the flowers, and the crops in their season. Help us to remember that no matter what storms may come, You are always there with us. Let us ever depend upon and lean on You for everything in our lives. Amen.