A few days ago there was nothing but strawlike grass and browned leaves in this spot. Today there is a flower.
Each year I am surprised when I see them. It’s not that I don’t know they are there hiding beneath the frozen ground. It’s just… I didn’t plant them, so I never remember exactly where they are. I’ve got a handle on exactly where the rose bushes are – I planted those, and they never go into hiding. These lovely blossoms break out into spring before anything else begins to grow, revel in the sunlight for a time, and quickly fade. Eventually, all that remains are the leaves which are soon cut down by the awakening of the lawnmower.
The blossom got me thinking. It seems fitting that these first blooms which pop out overnight, breaking through a ground littered with yesterday’s death, would possess the most glorious aroma. They triumphantly enter the terrestrial plane after being buried, beaten down, chopped, left for dead for months and months, only to burst forth from their temporary grave.
So many months they lay silent – out of sight, out of mind. Yet – they were not forgotten. Like the faithful in 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9 “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed,” despite the struggle, we are redeemed.
We too may be buried by our circumstances, cold and alone. And even when we feel we may be breaking free from some trouble, we may find that we have to work even harder to prevail because our path to freedom may be blocked by more garbage. It’s at those times when we are in the dark about our future that we need to have faith. Though our vision may be limited, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t working. When the days, weeks, and months are long, and our situation seems frozen, God may be changing the entire world outside our view to prepare it for our triumph. Because we are His, and we are never out of His sight and mind, we need never worry that we are forgotten.
2 Corinthians 4:16-2 Corinthians 5:10
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight– 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.