Rhododendron, Dutch Iris, and Lupine. What do they have in common? They’re all flowers. They all bloom in the spring. Other than that, there isn’t much to connect them. However, I have each of these in my garden. Each is opening and blooming in magnificent colors. Two of them are starts which came from the home of my youth. The other reminds me of home each spring.
The Rhody came as a small start off one of my parent’s plants. It was crooked and looked gangly for several years, but I was happy with it because it filled a space that blocked children from running into my backyard.
The Dutch Iris start also came from my parent’s home. Their start had come from my grandmother’s yard. The passing on from one family to the next.
The Lupine is a wild flower that grows along the roadside and in pastures. When I was a young girl, one of my chores was to bring the cows in to be milked. My sister and I would pick the pretty blue stalks along with Buttercups and make bouquets for our mother and grandmother each afternoon until the flowers died away.
Each flower has taught me something about God’s love for us.
The Rhody was gangly and not shaped well, but as the years have come and gone, it’s become a large and filled out bush. One that must be trimmed from time to time or else it would become a tree. You can’t see the twisted base. It’s enlarged and become well rounded and able to hold the bush securely in place. We are much like that. We come into this world, misshaped by the fallen world. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, our roots strengthen and we display God’s beauty.
The Dutch Iris is almost the opposite. When first planted, it flowers after only a season or two. It continues to bloom each year until the bulbs multiply so much that all the energy is left in the bulb and no flowers develop. The bulbs must be pulled apart, given some space and the flowers return. God designed us to gather together where we gain strength by the multiplying of ourselves, but eventually some must go in order for the rest to continue to bloom. Clusters generate fruit (flowers) but too many in one spot stifles growth. New areas must be found for those pulled from the original patch and they too will generate growth and fruit.
The Lupine is untamed. It can be admired from afar but as I’ve discovered, has a hard time surviving in a ‘domesticated’ garden. Propagation of seeds that will grow in a well-tended garden take time. We as God’s children were untamed, left to our own designs. But when someone came along and nurtured us, we developed into plants which can live in a garden too. And one day we will return to the Garden God created for all His children.
Are you growing in God's love? If not, why not?