Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Life is like a Daffodil

Upon my return from the Philippines, I promised Susan that I would spend the day with her, fixing up things around the house. All the deciduous trees had lost their leaves and since I had been away for three weeks, there were a lot. So we blew and raked all of them. Then we planted our daffodils and tulips for the winter.

I have a friend who has a Ph.D. and teaches at a university and so I asked her why we planted daffodils and tulips in the fall. Why couldn't we just plant them in the spring? She said they have to go through 9 weeks of freezing cold, black weather because that cold, darkness and wet stimulates their growth. If they didn’t go through that winter time, then they would just be little weak flowers in the spring. So, the long stretch through that bleak season made them better.

I found that to be a wonderful lesson for me because it fits so well with Psalm 23 where David says we go into the valley of the shadow of death and that’s where we receive anointing and that’s where we receive the comfort that God wants to give us.

So I was happy to plant them in the garden to begin this process in the valley of the shadow of death that would lead them to a new springtime. As I did that, I prayed for people I know and all who read this blog that as you go through the valley and that there would be an Easter time, a time resurrection, when beautiful new life would burst forth as a testimony to God’s grace.

Now, around the daffodils and the tulips, there is a brown papery shell and very often I used to scrape that off and throw it away. When I asked my friend about it, she said, not to do this because that shell actually nourishes the plants. It is a starch that turns into sugar and gives the boost that the plants need for nourishment.

Again I could see how this fit into our lives. Sometimes the rough edges in our life that we don’t like are what really gives us the nourishment and boost to succeed. So I kept that shell on them, and I kind of rejoiced as I put the flowers in the garden knowing that they would be well nourished for a long, cold winter sleep so that they will be beautiful in the spring time. I’ll give you a full report in March when the flowers come up out of the ground.

After we did the daffodils and tulips, we put up our Christmas lights. We have a 3 storey house and the top rung of lights had become disconnected. I had put a staple right through the wire last year so the lights didn’t work. I didn’t want to go up the ladder and fix them as I don’t like heights like that. It was beautiful day and Susan encouraged me, so up I went. She stood at the bottom of the ladder and promised she would catch me if I fell (talk about faith). I rewired the broken string and got all of our lights working. Once that was done, we put more lights around the plants and the trees so it looks really nice.

As darkness settled, Susan and I sat backed and enjoyed the fruits of our labour. Later, as I worked on my sermon, I used the day's experience to share with the church. It's not easy going through the valley, but God is with you, comforting you. And I pray that soon your cup will overflow and goodness and love will follow you all the days of your life.


1 comment:

Josephine said...

Hi, Pastor Barry,
You always make so much sense even with the most simplest things which I often just take for granted!

I love your words of encouragement and I thank you so much for your prayers. They help me get through my chaotic day! It's always so comforting to know that you care about all of us.

(the Middle 1 of the 3 sisters)