Note: I think this blog may become an annual post. Each spring I think about the joy John found in our yearly jaunts into the Texas Hill Country in search of Bluebonnets. Other than watching sports, our annual trek was his favorite activity. As our birthdays draw near, the lessons I learned from this post return to my thoughts. Spring is coming! No matter how difficult the winter, spring is coming!
“Did you get it?”, John asked with eager anticipation in his voice. “Yes, here it is,” I replied, “Looks really good this year.” “Should be, after the rain we had in January, he commented.
As he opened the pages of the magazine, he reminded me of a child who just opened the best Christmas present ever! For the next several hours, John poured over page after page of pictures of wildflowers. Nothing else mattered at that moment. I sat on the couch smiling each time he made an excited, “Wow! We need to go here this year!” Or “I know exactly where that is! I have a picture just like this one.” By the end of the day, John had our route for our annual sojourn through the Texas Hill Country mapped out.
Every year we made the trip. It did not matter to John if we saw one bluebonnet or thousands. What mattered was the journey and ultimately seeing the result of God’s workmanship throughout the winter. The bluebonnets peeked out from the grassy field’s along the Texas highways like tiny beacons of light that illuminated the drab, colorless landscape of winter. Each blossom represented victory over the harshness of winter. Each blossom represented a new life and a new beginning.
Before each flower pushes through the earth to show off its beauty, it must endure the winter.
I often wondered how these seemingly fragile plants bloom year after year. What miraculous events occur that result in such beauty? So, like any good 21st-century researcher, I Googled, “How to plant bluebonnets in Texas.”
From this search I learned:
- Bluebonnets need full sunlight to for best growth.
- Bluebonnets can be planted from September 1 through December 15, but for the best growth no later than mid-November.
- Bluebonnets produce large, hard-coated seeds that take time to soften, but also protect them from potentially destructive forces of nature (winter) until they are ready to form deep roots and push through the ground.
- Do not soak or prick the seeds. Although doing so may improve the first year’s growth, it may also damage the seed.
- A significant amount of rain is needed during the winter months to soften the seeds enough to germinate.
- When scattering the seeds, seed to soil contact is essential. (the grass and weeds need to be cut)
- Seeds need to be covered by about 1/4 inch of soil to protect them from being eaten by birds or “burning” up in the sunlight.
In short, to endure the winter, bluebonnets need to be planted in the right season, need sunlight, need contact and covering from the soil, need enough rain to soften their hard shell and need to grow at their own pace without being picked or rushed. As I read this, I was reminded that God works the same miracle with us every time we go through a severe (winter) season in our life.
God has a perfect plan to help us endure the winter.
Spring always follows winter. New life happens in every part of God’s creation in the spring. Spring can be one of the most beautiful times of the year! However, when I am in the midst of a difficult season in my life, I sometimes forget that spring is coming. I can’t see any further than my circumstance. Fortunately, God knows SPRING IS COMING! I ask myself, why should I worry.
If God takes care of bluebonnets surely He will give me what I need to endure the winter:
- His Son, in all his glory shining down on me. John 3:16
- He knows exactly how long I need to endure the winter before spring arrives Isaiah 40:31
- He covers me with his wings until I can safely stand and flourish. Psalm 91
Although He provides all this, my part is:
- Not try to endure the winter without relying on Him. Psalm 78:7
- Not allow others to push me, shame me or blame me for being in the circumstance. Romans 8:31, 39
- To remain connected to God by abiding in Him. John 15:7
- Allowing Him to stand over me when I am weak. Philippians 4:13
No matter how cold or dark the winters of your life seem, remember SPRING IS COMING! God provides all that you need to endure the winter. God’s perfect plan will get you to spring.
How has God helped you endure a winter season in your life?