It was early May and I was starting to worry.
As I pulled out of my driveway and looked toward the mulch covered bank that was supposed to be filled with blooming azaleas, it seemed like there was something wrong. Every plant that should have been filled with beautiful bright pink flowers looked like twigs. Not only were there no blooming flowers, there didn’t even appear to be any buds. It might as well have been the den of winter the way my azaleas looked. Looking at my neighbor’s blossoming azalea across the street, I knew something had to be wrong.
And being me, I immediately started to stress.
I remembered all the hard work invested in planting those azaleas. The days that were spent covered in dirt and sweat digging the holes, the hours spent feeding and watering the plants when they were young, and the back-breaking effort put into mulching that bank every year until the weeds finally decided to give up and stop growing.
Then the memories and nostalgia kicked in as I remembered my Mom and I designing the bank, going to the garden center and picking out the plants.
Moving on quickly (as my brain always does when it’s stressed) I started thinking about how much it would cost to replace the plants if they had all died. Where would we get that money? The thought of doing all that hard work over again seemed overwhelming!
What had happened?
I knew it had been a hard winter, filled with ice and snow, but was it really hard enough to kill and destroy?
Why wasn’t the plant food we’d used to try to save them working?
Were we really going to lose our entire investment and have to start over from scratch?
Why couldn’t the darn things just bloom already and come to life?
Finally I told myself, “Okay, stop! This is not the time to be thinking about these things. You’re leaving on a trip. You can worry about yard work when you get home.” With that, we pulled out on the road, and headed out for our journey.
Then something wonderful happened.
The weather got warm---really warm---all of a sudden.
All the days we were gone the morning dew and the warm summer sun worked its magic on my azalea garden giving it all the ingredients that the plants needed to bloom. At the end of the week when I pulled back into my driveway, I was greeted by tiny pink blossoms all up and down the banks of my garden. A week after that the flowers were bursting out of control, blooming with life and health.
Were the blooms late? Oh yeah! But finally, they had come.
The hard winter had not destroyed my plants---it had just delayed their flowers. At that moment, as I pulled the car toward my home, I was reminded that ultimately Everything Blooms In It’s Time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
Earlier it reminds us:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
Perhaps today, your life is a little bit like my azaleas. You’ve just been through a hard winter, a difficult time that just doesn’t seem to want to end. You’re wondering, “Why haven’t things changed yet? Where’s the fresh, abundant life that I’ve been promised?”
Maybe you’re looking at other people’s lives and wondering “Why are their lives flourishing and blooming while mine still seems so dead?”
Perhaps you’re looking back on years that you’ve invested in a relationship, a career, or a goal and wondering, “Why aren’t I reaping a dividend from all of my efforts?” Even worse, “Am I going to have to start all over again? Where am I supposed to get the energy, fortitude, and strength to do that?”
Today, I want to encourage you.
God will make EVERYTHING---even your life---beautiful IN HIS TIME.
Even if your life looks like a heap of twigs when you think it should be blooming and blossoming, I encourage you to HOLD ON. Keep following God. Keep doing the right thing, obeying God’s Word, putting His first in your life, putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.
God has a plan for you to bloom. Even if you can’t see it now, in His mind it has already taken place. Everything that you have gone through, invested in, and are going through will someday play a role in the beautiful, flourishing blossom that you will become.
You can trust me because I’m not just speaking from experience with azaleas. In my own life, I’ve seen it’s true. There were years---literally years and years---where my life looked like a pile of dead twigs. I was following God and allowing Him to work on the issues of my heart, but to many who passed by it seemed like hope was dead.
The investments I’d made seemed pointless.
As I looked at the lives of those around me flourishing, it seemed like there must be something wrong with me. Why wasn’t I blooming like them?
The answer was simply that it wasn’t God’s time.
He was still working, still cultivating, and still preparing me for the moment when He would say, “Now---it’s time to show the world what I’ve been doing on the inside all along.”
Finally, in His time, things started to make sense. Life started to bloom and flourish. Winter passed and spring finally came.
More than my experience with the azaleas, it’s this experience in life that allows me to say to you:
There is hope.
God has a plan and a purpose for your life.
He has a destiny He designed you to fulfill.
In His time, and in His way---YOU WILL BLOOM!”