Here are my first daffodils of the year! Since I took this picture on Saturday, many more have stretched open to greet us. I absolutely LOVE this time of year! If you care nothing for flowers, you may want to visit my blog less frequently in the spring time. I suspect that my readers will be subjected to many more pictures of my garden and many more references to the parallels that I find between gardening and my walk with my Lord. You may remember my entry back in October entitled Fair Weather Gardener. I warned you then that it is in my garden that I first started feeling the desire to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to chronicle my thoughts about the cyclical nature of our walk with God. I talked then about how the work we do in the fall, the unpleasant clean-up chores, prepares the way for the new growth that is promised each spring. The fulfillment of God’s promises evidenced once again through the miracle of these tiny, new flowers!
As exciting as the first daffodils are…and yes, I make everyone in my family ooh and aah appropriately in celebration of the first flowers of the year…I am just as excited by the things pictured below. If you can’t see them well, click on the pictures for a larger version. I spent last Thursday afternoon clearing away the remnants of last year’s flowers and this is what I discovered underneath. Tiny green shoots pushing their way through the hard ground. From now until the garden is in its full glory in June and July, I will go out, every few days at first and then every day, to check on the progress. Some days, the transformation is nothing short of a miracle. What you see here will become gorgeous flowers with very little help from me. Perhaps a little extra water, perhaps a little food in the form of a fertilizer, maybe a stake to hold up an especially enthusiastic bundle of blooms, but essentially, God will turn these patches of dirt into a thing of great beauty without my help.
I prepare the soil, I clean away the debris, I feed them good things, I put supports around them to help them hold up their head on windy days but, no matter how hard I try, I cannot turn this patch of dirt and sticks into a beautiful flower. Hmmm…sounds like something else I try to “grow.” Transformation, of ourselves, of our children and of our gardens, is God’s work. Our work is to clean away the debris of the world, prepare our hearts through prayer, feed on wisdom through His word, surround ourselves with sisters and brothers in Christ to hold us up when the windy days come and trust God to fulfill His promise of transformation and new life.
Then, over time, we begin to see the miracle of His hand at work; a creation of great beauty where there once was plain ugly dirt.