Gardenias are my absolute favorite kind of flower. They look like roses, but exude an almost intoxicating fragrance – ten times more powerful than your most fragrant rose. What makes gardenia plants extra special to me is that mine have always bloomed in April & May during my mother’s and my birthdays.
But all of the rest of the year, the gardenia plant does not blossom. And I imagine that it doesn’t feel one bit guilty. Neither do I entertain the idea that I should cut it down and replace it with a plant that produces flowers year-round as some varieties can in our tropical climate. You know where this is leading…
There are natural seasons to our lives. God made the world with set rhythms and he made us to bloom in certain seasons. Few of us bloom all of the time. There are dry and lonely spells in our lives. There are times when everything we try to do seems to fail. Many days we are not so attractive and fragrant. But are we any less valuable in those times? Does God want to “cut us down” and replace us? No! He looks at us and knows that we need to grow roots, drink water and soak in the sun until our next blossoming. He allows us to rest and he gives us water and nutrition and sun. And when our first flower appears, in due season, he rejoices over it – having waited and expected your moment to shine.
So what do you do when you are in the waiting season? You reject the temptation to feel condemned or guilty. You let God speak to you kindly. You rest. And just as a plant takes the off-season to follow its desires for more water and sun as thus grows roots and broader branches, you let God lead you by the good desires he has put in your heart. These are what give you the nutrition and strength to produce beautiful flowers and fruit when the time comes.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens…