Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Secret of a Winter Garden

Brown shriveled hydrangea flowers taunted me from the garden. A panoramic glimpse of the yard brought me to a quick conclusion, it was hideous. Bare and brown stems peeking up from the ground where beauty once was.

God tenderly reminded me of my current winter season that looks much like the garden, but there wasn't sorrow, only hope. As He whispered, "This is you," faith welled up in me like a spring. No matter how bad that garden looks right now, no matter how bad things look in my life, in a couple of months, I'm going to be enjoying the beauty that comes and fills the empty spaces.

I remember the hard work I did last spring and can trust that the time and care I took to nurture my garden during the growing season will sustain it through winter and when spring comes the investment will pay off. March will bring the first signs of life with little buds shooting out of the ground and on bare stems. I will anticipate the April showers, that inevitably bring May flowers.
"If you bury a seed, something will come up." -  Annie F. Downs
The same goes for my life. I have done the hard work, planted the seeds and even though I can't see it now, there will be fruit. I didn't wait until winter came, during the plentiful months I took time and care to nurture my soul. Everything may appear dead now, but I know life is lurking beneath the surface.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
If we are honest these barren winter gardens teach us a lot about the winter seasons in our lives. Although the spiritual seasons don't come with dates preplanned on the calendar, we have a thoughtful and timely God and the waiting can yield trust in Him.

In this winter season that doesn't have much to show for itself, I await the plentiful rain, the spontaneous and abundant blessings from the Lord. I know it will come, I've been here before.
Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance when it was weary. Psalm 68:9
A winter garden keeps its secret hidden well for months beneath dry, brittle stems and even plants that have withered in the ground. What I know to be true is that life is just beneath the surface. In my current winter season, I have the same hope, some things have died, but experience tells me that resurrection is coming.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
"Life was good.Death was brutal.Resurrection was worth it." - Annie F. Downs 

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