©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
I didn’t think anything would come from that plant and never really expected it to bloom.
But, underneath, hope was there.
In front of the rock, right outside our sunporch, more than 25 magnificent fuchsia tulips had blossomed. After each bloom faded, I cut the stalks so the leaves could store up more energy into the bulbs for next year’s growth.
It was then I noticed one bud had yet to bloom. I almost cut it off. After all, it was past the season to blossom, and it was an oddity sticking up like that.
On a spindly stalk, that tight bud seemed less likely to open to its fullness as trees and bushes now blocked most of the sun.
Yet hope was there.
Occasionally I watered it but mostly I left it alone.
Then one day to my surprise, that skinny stem with its small green bud bent over and stretched towards the tiny bit of sunlight that filtered through the branches above it.
It was as if it bowed down and reached to receive the blessing and warmth of the sun’s rays.
Later, on a cool, overcast day when storms were predicted, I marveled at how that stem had curved back, leaning into the lush leaves of those that had bloomed before as if seeking connection and support.
The bud had changed though. Larger and slightly open, the flower now wore dusty rose and yellow coloring on its exterior petals.
When the skies cleared and the sun shone, the one that had yet to bloom once again stretched practically prone to catch the sunlight.
I watered and waited.
Because hope was there.
Then one sunny morning, I looked out to the garden where tall leafy trees and the verdant leaves of previously bloomed flowers surrounded the centerpiece rock.
There, a single flower blossomed.
I gasped with delight.
That one bud whose stalk didn’t seem thick enough or strong enough had bloomed.
Despite the storms and being blocked from the sun, and even though it was past the season to bloom, that flower had positioned itself to receive life-giving energy from the sun.
It wasn’t the prettiest, nor the flashiest, flower – certainly not as stunning as those bright, showy hot pink ones that had been all around it.
But when it finally blossomed, the deep center of it was yellow.
Through it, I saw the sun.
Perhaps you, or someone you know, needs hope today. The struggle to endure, to persevere, is taking its toll.
Maybe it seems as if the blooming season that brings joy is past. Seek the Son-Light!
Lean into the Lord. Lean on others. Let these Scriptures soak into your soul and strengthen you:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. Lamentations 3:22-25 NIV
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 NIV
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9 NIV
As you know we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. James 5:11 NIV
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV
- Right now, what is one thing you need to persevere in doing?
- Have you ever seen a lesson through God’s creation? Through a flower, a mountain, a valley, a stream, a cave, a sunset, an ocean or a tree?
- When is a time you persevered in the past that taught you a lesson or helped build your character?
- Which of the above verses speaks to you most right now?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™