Anyone who knows me, knows by the number of photos on my social media account that I like roses. I have two rose plants that emit delicious fragrances, surpassing the fragrance of any Turkish Delight sweet I have come across. The only problem with my rose plants, is that they tend to flower around the same time as each other and then there are a few weeks where there is nothing.
During the time of no flowers, I find myself eagerly awaiting their beauty again. I spend time preparing for the flowering by tending the soil, watering, pruning and checking the leaves for bugs.
As the new shoots grow and begin to bud again, I find I am excited for the beauty that is promised in that little bud. I know the time is coming very soon, when that bud will bloom again and I will not only be able to enjoy the beauty of the flower, but also the fragrance that I have waited so long to smell.
Preparing the soil
It is often said that everyone is waiting for something. Whether it be waiting for the promise of a child, a job, a house, whatever it may be, there is often something we are waiting for.
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens, the good and the bad (remind you of a song?). While we wait for the dreams and hopes to come about, our waiting is not in vain. Every step matters and nothing goes to waste.
While we are waiting, and perhaps feel like we are in a season of toil, we are growing, and even the small things are being put to good use. They are feeding the soil to ready it for a healthy plant. Zechariah chapter 4 verse 10 says: ‘Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…’
It is in these small beginnings that God is planting the seed for something beautiful and ‘he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ,’ (Philippians chapter 1 verse 6). It is in the tending of the garden that the fruit is produced.
The bloom and the fragrance
Life is not meant to be easy, and sometimes the waiting alone can be the marathon of endurance. But we hold onto a hope that is greater than anything the world can offer. It exceeds the imaginations of our own plans, and though it may not bring fame and fortune, the miracles and the intricate weaving of the path God takes us on, will leave us in awe and breathing in a fragrance above all others—the fragrance of Christ in our lives.
God is always at work, whether it is seen or unseen, and one day the waiting for beauty will flower and you will see that the toiling has been worth its while. And if you’re in a season of transformation between toil and harvest, then keep your hope, because one day you will bloom.
‘How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you…’
(Psalm chapter 31 verse 19).
Originally published in Christian Today Australia, August 2017