There is beauty in the rain.
Flowers need rain or they wilt. But if they receive rain and still wilt, that’s when you know there are problems. No one ever accused me of having a green thumb. When my sister sent me an herb garden starter kit, I got nervous. Has she met me? And while the herb garden seems to be coming along, here is the current state of my outdoor ‘flowers’.
Pretty bad, huh? They are supposed to look like this:
Well, minus the dog… and this:
Irises, my favorite flower in the whole world. Poor irises. They never even had a chance.
These particular iris bulbs came from my parents’ house in Pennsylvania. They have never once bloomed since my parents brought them to me. They always grow leaves, but never flowers, and then eventually they get too much sun or too much water and just die because I don’t take care of them.
It’s not difficult to see why these poor flowers have likely met their final resting place. Perhaps they are just old and tired from blooming year after year in the same soil. Then, some homewrecker digs them up and tries to re-plant them in completely different soil and these poor souls just say, ‘that’s it, I’m done. I’ll give you leaves but you took me away from my home so I just can’t bloom anymore.’ Apparently in my mind, flowers can talk. Moving on.
Or perhaps I’ve tried to cram these beauties into a pot that is too small to contain their roots. Maybe they are unable to grow deep enough due to small space or improper soil. Maybe I’m choking the roots because the HOA frowns on planting flowers in the actual ground. Silly HOA.
There’s also the likelihood that the scorching Tennessee sun is just too much for these flowers, since I never move them out of the heat during long periods of no rain. I do water them occasionally but the damage may already be done.
Or maybe when the rains do come, these cheap-o pots do not have the proper drainage to keep them from dying. I’m certain that’s what happened to the impatiens. After days of sun, the rains finally came but by the time I realized what was happening, the flowers had drowned. I’m terrible at this whole gardening thing.
I got tired of blooming once. Year after year I had the same routine. I love routines. I was very good at what I was doing and I thought that was enough. But after years of stifling some of my God-given gifts under a whole lot of comfortable busy-ness, I forgot to bloom. I lost my good soil because I only occasionally read the Bible and often prayed one-liners before getting distracted. Little did I know the soil was eroding around me. Before I knew it I had taken my bulb away from its home. I had taken myself away from God. To be completely honest, I didn’t even know I was doing it. If you had asked me during that time how my relationship with God was, I would have told you it was fine, but I had no idea how beautiful a blooming relationship could actually be, and how much I had to lose in order to gain it. I had also shoved myself into a neat and tidy little ‘pot’ with no room to grow. Boy did I love it there. So safe, so comfy. Those were the days. I completely shut out any possibility of a bigger plan for my life, one that would stretch my roots further into the soil of God’s grace and allow me to reach to the sun in the glory of his mercy. I had no idea what I was missing in that safe little box. Life felt really, really good. The sun was shining on my home, my career, and my relationships. But I had no idea just how scorched I was becoming.
And then one day the rains came. They poured. A hurricane came and brought with it a flood. What little good soil that was left around me washed away. My tiny, safe pot broke open. I was drowning. My lack-luster relationship with God had been scorched and then broken under the weight of the downpour.
But you know what? Those iris bulbs can bloom again. If I get them a bigger pot with some better soil or if I take them back to their proper home, they can thrive. And I can thrive too. God had to drown me before I realized I needed to re-plant myself. I needed the proper soil – his Word and his presence. I needed to sink my roots back into my Home.
Now I am striving to take care of myself Spiritually, spending time with my God, searching for his beauty even when it’s difficult to find. I thirst for him now, and maybe when the rains come I will be able to accept them instead of drowning in them. He tends to me, making sure my roots are growing strong and my leaves are still bright and that I’m getting just enough rain to keep me growing. I cannot wait to see how I will bloom.
Lord, Send Your Rain.
You may listen to the song God gave me here.
The rain came down from Heaven today Bringing new life to the ground The flowers grew as the storm clouds passed And the rain came pouring down Lord, send your rain I know you stay the same But I will grow in beauty and grace If you send me your rain The storms you send can seem so loud As your voice thunders over the wind With fear and trembling I come to the One Who will never flood again Lord, send your rain I know you stay the same But I will grow in beauty and grace If you send me your rain Remind me of your truth With a rainbow or two Show me how you're growing me When you send me your rain Lord, send your rain I know you stay the same But I will grow in beauty and grace If you send me your rain.