Our yard was overgrown when we bought the house and moved here in July. I’ve had to remove several shrubs and trees. I’ve been cutting up the larger pieces of tree trunks and branches and have a nice collection of firewood for the patio fireplace… about half a cord, I’d say. I’ve been busy trimming back the foliage and I thought I knew every inch of the little lot here on Buckingham Drive. But a few weeks ago, I pulled into the driveway and was surprised to see a patch of new shoots, probably daffodils, emerging in a small depression between the driveway and the fence. There had been no evidence of these flowers-in-waiting below the surface of the ground, but what joy!
This morning, I decided to walk around the yard to see if there were any more hidden bulbs emerging from their winter’s sleep. Sure enough, there is a nice row of daffodils emerging. Unfortunately they are coming up right where I stacked all that firewood. So this being the preacher’s day off and all, my mind turned naturally to the theological significance of this little story and here it is: Sometimes, when God gives you a little surprise gift, you have to work a bit to accept it. It only took me twenty minutes to move the firewood, but I know I will enjoy the blossoms of the daffodils not only this spring, but for many, many more springs to come.
The words to Natalie Sleeth’s haunting Easter hymn come to mind.
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Is there a gift God wants to give you that will require just a little bit of effort on your part to accept? Are there beautiful things that you have covered up with the old trunks and branches of your life? Are there parts of your life that you have to move in order to let something new and exciting come to life? Don’t hesitate! Do the work of clearing out the old and making room for the new. Spring is coming and with it God’s little surprises.
Happy February to all.