The past few days have been lovely -- warm and sunny. People have been breaking out their sandals and wearing T-shirts without jackets around here.
I've been delighted to see my tulips pushing through winter's barrier. I noticed them springing from the rock-clad earth in their emerald majesty, asserting their desire to grow and bloom. But now they've hit a snag, or so it seems. The cold and the snow has cloaked them in a chill that will temporarily suspend their growth.
Life can be like that, and sometimes we can feel a bit like those tulips. Things are clipping along, we're accomplishing what we need, and then we're emotionally or spiritually covered in a dusting of snow.
Perhaps the path we'd been on seems troublesome to follow. It's not difficult to assume all is lost, our goals are slipping from our grasp.
But for the tulips, the late-winter snow is a blessing. My dad used to call a late snowfall poor-man's fertilizer. Turns out that expression is more than folklore. Snow has nutrients and, of course, moisture. What seems like a hindrance is actually beneficial. Snow that falls on thawed earth penetrates into the soil, delivering nutrients and moisture that promote growth and health.
So if you feel like you've been stuck or hindered by the unpredicted, don't stress. Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (The Message)