I have potted some plants and one of the flowers I chose to plan were marigolds. After I had already potted them, I remembered what happened to them last year – the slugs loved them. They didn’t last that long and it was a shame. However, the slugs have thus far left them alone and I am enjoying the bright orange and red colours. Truth be told, that is why I bought them. It was a quick win to delight in the colours.
The marigolds got me thinking. Often in life, we look for the quick wins, the successful and most beautiful, the instant satisfaction. We are drawn to those things. However, often what appears to be a quick win seldom lasts. We cut corners but miss out on so much along the way. Success and beauty do eventually fade.
Then I thought about the rose bush at the bottom of my garden. I’ve been told by friends with greener fingers than I that it is looking healthy. But nothing is happening yet. No roses to be seen. It’s not its time to blossom. There is much waiting and amazing things are going on in the hidden places – underneath the soil, in the roots, the branches, the leaves. Things are happening. Glorious growth. Life abundant.
Year on year the roses come out in the most beautiful, bright pinks and put on a gorgeous display. It is the highlight of the garden. Maybe those moments where nothing obvious seems to be happening in our lives to the outside world are actually moments that are preparing us for a life that will burst in full bloom for God’s glory. Don’t underestimate what God is doing in the hidden places of your heart and home.
I just love those peaceful, quiet and gentle moments. As my son finally naps, I can hear the birds singing and my own thoughts again. I retreat up to my bedroom for some rest. I keep a small square container which I joke as my ‘spiritual first aid kit’ as it contains a copy of the Bible, a small notepad, pen, cartridges and post-it notes. It’s not my ‘go-to’ for all quiet times, but when I long for some deep-rooted, well-watered, soul-satisfying time with God, I love to reach for it and breathe a sigh of relief.
It’s in the stillness that I feel most able to listen to God and speak with Him. There is no special, sacred place to pray or specific time or way to pray. However, for me, those moments when I can just be still and wait for Him in those moments draw me in a closer, deeper relationship with Jesus. Whether I am sitting at home or walking along a country track underneath the ocean sky, He is there. It is like I am the rose bush soaking up the love of God from His Word as the truth brings life into my roots so that I can shoot forth for Christ.
I pray that in those times with the Lord, we will be refreshed and know that He is working in the depths of our heart. It is all for His glory and for our good – what a blessing to know the Living God!
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-6 NIV