Every spring, I remember. And every spring, I wait.
I wait for the dark morning hours to gradually be filled with light. I wait for the symphony of the songbirds. I wait for milder temperatures to lure me out of doors. I wait for the trees to bud out in their umbrellas of blossoms.
But most of all, I wait for the flowers.
God has gifted me with a love of all growing things, but perhaps His most precious gift to me in this love, has been my mother-in-law. In her, He has given me a kindred spirit, and one with more expertise and experience than I could ever hope to attain. Over the years, she has celebrated this love with me, through the sharing of her knowledge, and of the treasures from her garden. Every year we watch and wait. Together, we rejoice at each and every shoot of green that reaches through the earth with pointed fingers. At the first glimpse of color, we exclaim at its distinctiveness and proclaim it beautiful. We wait for each flower to reveal herself, to boldly declare the beauty she envelops in her prayer-like sepals. Before each bud matures into the lovely creature it is intended to be, we picture in our minds what they will all look like together, side-by-side in their glory. The blooms come alive in our imaginations, and the garden becomes a thing of expectation, of sleeping joy.
This image is ever before us throughout the year. When the earth appears barren and cold, we hold in our hearts the secret she has hidden in her womb. We rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.
And so it is as we wait on God. Just as the flowers have an appointed time to lift their lovely faces to the sun, so are our lives ordered by God’s will.
Scripture tells us that His timing is different than ours. Sometimes this inconveniences us, oftentimes for years. We want our prayers answered in our time frame, according to our stipulations. But always, His solutions are wiser; His timing is perfect. We see the truth of this reflected in the change of seasons, and the way the earth revolves around the sun. We see it in the way our children grow and pass through predictable developmental stages.
Perhaps, like me, you have been blessed to also witness this truth in your personal life.
And so, we wait. And because we are human, we forget to keep the image alive in our minds. The darkness looms in the winters of our souls, and we grow weary.
This is why we must not wait alone. For, just as my mother-in-law stands at my side to share the joy of new life in each spring, the joining with others in this waiting peppers our anticipation. We are like the flowers: each beautiful and unique in our singleness, but side by side we reflect a glory that is greater than our own. We were created to stand together, complimenting and strengthening as we do so.
When the landscape of life looks bleak, remember the springtime. Remember the flowers. Underneath the stark and barren exterior lies something beautiful waiting to burst forth. We can rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.
I repost these words in celebration of Ada Mae’s (my mother-in-law) birthday this past week. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Happy Birthday, Grammy.