Spring has fought for its place in the season rotation this year, hasn’t it? I woke up the other day to discover the irises that broke through the earth earlier in the week were now surrounded by more than a dusting of snow.
The bright green leaves and stems stood out in contrast to the fresh snow in a way that was both beautiful and out of place. My emotions quickly went from surprise to frustration to concern. I thought the blooming of the irises had indicated winter was behind us for the season. The reminder winter still had enough momentum to reveal its self, was jarring.
“Spring flowers come along and cheer us up at a time when we most need it, after we have somehow survived another long winter. It would not be going too far to say that they help you convalesce as you recuperate from Old Man Winter’s months-long blustery barrage.” (The Spruce)
- Spring flowers are distinct.
- They have thick leaves and stems.
- Their colors are bright and various.
- Spring flowers bear the character traits of fighters.
“Plants blossom at different times because (of) several factors, including the weather, temperature and the amount of sunlight the plant receives, all of which influence its reproductive development. Information about these conditions is relayed to Apetala1, which activates when it senses that the timing is right to commence flowering. …Apetala1 regulates and communicates with the other ‘growing’ genes.” (Source)
The Apetala1 activates each flower to bloom when it senses the timing is right.
Did you know that when you become a Christian you too have a communicator that tells you when the time is right to grow? Jesus told the disciples that when he was no longer on earth they would still have a guide. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
Just before Jesus ascended to heaven after the resurrection he once again reminded all who were gathered that they would have a guide on earth “He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” Acts 1:7-9
Responding to Your Guide
The Irises responded as they were created to do. When the Apetala1 indicated it was time to grow there was no discussion as to whether the snow was really gone. God created the Apetala1 to complete a specific job and the flowers are designed to respond to the timing of that gene.
How different would life be if we positioned ourselves like spring flowers? What would happen if we embraced every season without rushing to the next?
God Created Us to Experience Each Season:
- Winter: Rest, Stillness, Preparation, Expectant yet patient waiting
- Spring: Regrowth, Obedience, Blooming
- Summer: Flourishing
- Fall: Transition and winding down in preparation for rest
Flowers do not abide by a calendar or what those around them are doing. They bloom and grow when the gene inside them determines it is their individual time to do so. And here is the beautiful part. We too have an activator inside us. A guide who is more in tuned with God than we will ever be here on earth.
Holy Spirit is our gift and our teacher. How will we best know when to move forward? God inside us will stir us forward when it is our time and all we have to do is take the next step. We do not need to worry about the snow around us, because Holy Spirit in us knows that we will be strong enough to endure. We only need to obey.
Jesus uses the example of how flowers grow as a reason not to worry. Both Matthew and Luke recount the teaching. Here is a section: Luke 12:25-28 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? ‘Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!'”
It’s Not Always Easy
The hardest part about faith for me is trusting when the big picture is fuzzy. When things are hard my instinct is to question whether I’ve taken the right actions. Faith includes resisting the impulse to run in a different direction and instead trust my guide has directed me correctly.
I’ve learned through repeated experiences that the best way to know my eyes and ears have discerned God and Holy Spirit correctly is the be in the word. When I am focused on God first it is easier to clearly identify his character. Further, I always have the Bible to resource. If I have an idea matches Scripture it’s worth pursuing because God knows my heart’s desire to obey.
Romans 5:1-5 says “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Paul wasn’t talking about a flower here, he was reminding us all that God knows the big picture even when we don’t understand. We don’t need to worry, just as a flower follows a guide, we can too.