Something New

I’m writing to you today with an update on the daffodils. I regret to inform you that – after chronicling the growth and rapid transformation of the daffodils in my mother’s garden – they are beginning to fade. It’s a sad business, indeed:

Honestly, these are some of the better looking flowers. Many of the other daffodils are wilting, or have given up the ghost all together. However, there is an important life lesson here. As one daffodil dies, another petunia springs to life.

The petunias just showed up out of nowhere. I asked my mother about them and she told me that her landscape architect has free reign when it comes to managing her yard. She mentioned, however, that the petunias were planted several years ago, and that they “just keep coming back year after year.”

From what I can tell, the petunias are tough little suckers. In fact, one itty bitty petunia – not pictured here – is thriving, despite being surrounded by a veritable forest of slumping daffodil stems.

Here is a fascinating (and no doubt obvious, to some) truism: where there is death, there also is life. God, in His creative wisdom, has made our existence on this earth incredibly bittersweet. 

Put another way, where you have dying daffodils, you also have thriving petunias. And, of course, the petunias will begin to fade at some point, and then something else will grow. Such is life – and death.

Let me get back to the daffodils, though: my mother says that the person managing her garden saves the daffodil bulbs each year, takes good care of them during the off-season, and then replants them in fresh soil. So, next year, when the daffodils are back in season, the mature bulbs will return and literally bloom where they are planted!

As a consequence, the daffodils grow taller and taller with each succeeding year. Of course, the daffodil dies each year as well, but when it returns to its familiar soil, it grows that much stronger.

I believe that God wants the same for us, too. We have our seasons of blooming, and other times when we feel like we are beginning  to fade. God then lovingly removes us from our comfort zone and puts our “spiritual bulbs” somewhere safe, where they can continue to grow. Then, when the time is right, we are replanted – and we find that we have grown stronger, and that are able to do things that we likely never considered doing before.

The way I see it, there are three important life lessons here:

  1. Death and life are inextricably bound together – for now. God demonstrates this principle powerfully all throughout His creation. So long as we live in a fallen world, we will continue to witness this cycle. Those of us who are Christ followers can look forward with joyful expectation to a time when this world is restored, and death is defeated forever!
  2. The new thing God births into existence is often quite different than the thing that preceded it. Consider how different the little petunia is from the majestic daffodil!
  3. God wastes no pain, and will redeem it for future good. Even though the daffodils die each year, the Master Gardener saves the bulbs and uses them for future glory. The ups and downs of our lives all serve a purpose, and help shape us into the best (read: strong, majestic, mature) kind of daffodil that we can be.

And to think all of this was revealed to me by the Lord through a couple of flowers!

Here is my prayer for today: Dear God, thank You for this important life lesson. While Death and life are inextricably bound together now, help us to focus on the good things You are preparing for us in the future.

Indeed, Isaiah 43:19 (NLT) says it best:

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

‭‭I praise You, God, because You never waste a hurt. You have a good plan and purpose for everyone and everything that You have created – even the daffodils in the petunias! 🙂 I look forward to what You’re up to next in my life – in fact, just as it says in Isaiah 43:19, You’ve already started it! I can’t wait to see what You have in store for me and those around me – the pathways that You will carve out in the midst of my wilderness, and the rivers that You will hew out of my dry places.

Thanks also for the daffodils and the petunias. 😀

In Your name I pray, Amen.

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