I have a black thumb. I mostly blame it on my upbringing. When you're born and raised in South Florida you don't have to know an annual from a perennial or what grows in sun and what grows in shade. It's lush and green 365 days a year. The most we had to do was spread a truckload of sand across the grass and pull a few weeds. Now, with the joy of the change in seasons comes the challenge of landscaping. I visit friends who turn their backyards and flower beds into mini Edens and I get a little jealous.
A few years ago, my friend Robin introduced me to Encore Azaleas. Seemed like a fairly easy flowering-bush-thing so I had some planted. A couple of weeks ago I looked at the bush and it was full of brown leaves. "It's dead!" I called out to my husband. "Why are all of our plants and trees dying?" I have a bad history with Leland Cypress. 4 1/2 out of 5 have died.
A few days after the brown leaf discovery the bush erupted with white blooms! Only one problem, 90% of them were on the back side of the bush. So my complaint changed from there are no blooms to where the blooms were located. I sat down on my porch and began to ponder. "Why are they all on the back side where no one can see them?" In that moment, God said, "You can see them. You can enjoy them." He was right, of course. Sitting on my porch I had the view of beauty and growth I had been waiting for.
I think God does that more times than we realize. We are waiting for a dream or an aspiration to burst onto the scene. Or we think it's dead just when God whispers, "If I want you to bloom where only I can see it, can you be content? I am sitting on the porch enjoying your growth and beauty."
God does His best work in the intimate moments of our life. In our wilderness seasons God is strengthening us with His love and provision. Often in our weakness or waiting we feel a sense of hopelessness but God wants you to see He is working.
Isaiah 35: 1-2, The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. (Read the whole chapter!)
Reflection: Where are you saying, "There's no blooms?" Has God been trying to show you the blooms, the beauty and growth, on the back side of your dream or desert? Do you define success by how many people can see it? Or are you able to enjoy what God is doing IN you before anyone can see what God will do THROUGH you?