Spring is nearing and it’s azalea season in Southern Alabama. The bushes lining the streets and homes are abundantly bearing luscious, vibrant blossoms. Pops of color – hot pinks, lavenders, fuchsias – are budding forth everywhere. It’s a gorgeous sight to see!
I have always thought that flowers are a glimpse into the heavenly garden, God’s little tease of paradise to come, but aren’t we sometimes too busy to stop and take notice of the colorful show and think about what He is trying to tell us through the loveliness of creation? We are now in Lent, a time of fasting and dryness. However, it is just at this time that God, in his amazing love and goodness, sprinkles the earth with signs of delicate beauty to remind us that He is present, loving and caring for each one of us.
Flowers are a sign of life and beauty. They appear each year after the harshness and barrenness of winter, on branches which had been dry and dead. Similarly, our souls can always come back to life and flower and bear fruit when we turn back to Jesus, even after they have been dead in sin. There are times in our lives when we choose self over Jesus, and, without fail, these choices result in a dry and barren soul. God repeatedly prunes the dead branches in our hearts so that growth can occur. Lent is a perfect time to allow Jesus to change our hearts, and the season of Spring coinciding brings its promise of new life, reminding us that we are always given another chance if we turn back to Him.
When my youngest daughter, now 10, was in her preschool years, we took long walks while her sisters were in school. Just when I needed a boost or a sign that God was near, there were so many moments when she would pluck a wildflower from the grass and present it happily to me. I will always treasure those sunny Spring days with my youngest, and receiving her precious tokens of love. Although they came from her tiny hands, I know the real Giver was God, showing me his affection and tenderness and reminding me of His mercy and forgiveness.
This Spring, lets all make it a point to stop our busy lives periodically and savor the beauty of nature around us, to remember and meditate on God’s mercy and love, and to look forward to the heavenly paradise which awaits us.