Plant Your Tulip Bulbs
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:7-8
On our first October living in this house I had decided to plant tulip bulbs out in the front landscaping, underneath a crepe myrtle tree. I had no idea how to do it or what to expect so I followed the directions on the package.
It was a cold, blustery October day now almost twenty years ago. I dressed warm and braved the staunch winds coming out of the north that always hits the front of our house hard this time of year. I grabbed my bulbs and small shovel and knelt down on my knees to begin the planting.
My thoughts that day about the tulips I would get to see break ground in the spring were exciting ones. I had never done this before but I just knew the little bulbs would do their part and grow and thrive and the warm spring weather would bring them up out of the ground to brighten my day with a field of beautiful color. I placed them in front of my dining room window so that I could see them not only from the front yard but also from inside my home.
As the weeks turned into months and I got busy with living I forgot about my bulbs until five months later (on a warm spring day) I saw green stems and leaves breaking through the ground and in the days and weeks following the most gorgeous buds of yellow, red, purple and blue made their way as they stood tall and proud. I was amazed at how they had really made it out of that cold dark ground to surprise me with their beauty.
You see, to bloom in March or April, the tulip bulb has to be planted in October. It is not an instant gratification kind of flower. We plant and we wait for the fruit of this plant to spring forward (literally).
Isn't it true of our spiritual walk? We may desire the beautiful, steady faith of our older mentors. But we must realize her faith was made strong through her walk. The roads of life for her may have been bad circumstances; sickness, pain or sorrow but through that she was holding fast to God's grace and mercy. Turning to Him in every situation all the while God was growing her faith and instilling His wisdom in her.
The seeds we plant, in faith, through our relationships, can feel small. The valleys we walk through can cause us to question where God is. Has He forgotten me? Is He really who He says He is? And can He do all He promises?
As we dig deep in our daily walk with Christ it should look something like this:
~Trusting in the Lord is an act of faith and the grace He delivers.
~Every time we reach out to someone who is hard to love is an act of planting faith. ~Forgiving others is choosing faith.
~Experiencing fear and frustration in testing times but turning toward God is a practice of faith.
Just like the bulbs I planted that October so long ago, and waited patiently to see the beautiful outcome of my labor, it also takes time to grow a well-established faith. As followers of Christ; disciples of His Word, He will take our plantings and turn them into beautiful crowns of glory that will fulfill and sustain us and grow our faith into a beautiful garden. And just like my tulips that came back year after year for many years, God's increase is never ending.
As we walk in faith being made stronger with each trial God is lovingly looking on us and admiring His beautiful work.
"We are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved." (Hebrews 10:39)
I love you & He loves you more!
Dear Lord, May I cling to you in these uncertain times and hold fast to all of Your promises. May I turn to You in all my days and walk in faith that You are establishing in me. In Jesus' name. Amen.