As I jogged past a large garden on the coldest day yet here in DC, there on the ground before me was a strange, round, pointy-on-one-end object. At first I did not give it much thought, but it seemed odd to see it just sitting there on the sidewalk all by itself. I decided to investigate further, made a u-turn and, much to my delight I realized... it was a tulip bulb! A sign of Spring, right before my very eyes-- only it was nowhere near Spring, nor was it anywhere close to blooming.
I looked over at the large patch of bare ground nearby and saw that there were hundreds of these amazing heralds of hope scattered all over the dark earth, ready and waiting to be tucked snuggly into their wintry beds to await a grand debut in only a few months.
That is what these little chubby prophets of warmer days and tweetier bird songs foretold to me.
Is what I realized I must have in order to persevere through what is forecast to be a very long, cold winter.
Is what these little guys will have to experience in order to become the profuse, fragrant blossoms that the Maker intends for them to be.
Is what will fill my heart when at last I jog past and see the first sign of their glorified, resurrected bodies bursting forth from the grave.
Is what the Master Gardener has that picks and plants these somewhat ugly knobs, knowing the potential that lies in wait inside each seed.
"Amen, amen I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life." John 12:24-25.
I truly want to be ALL that You intend for me to be. I realize that I will need to be patient, die a thousand deaths daily, and hope in You to do all of the work in and through me that will make me a more fragrant, exuberant, and delightful expression of You. Help me to persevere, even when things get tough, long or boring. Thank you that You have faith in me and You see the potential of all that is in me, even when I do not see it in myself. Help me to be more hopeful.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.