Last fall, I thought it might be nice to try to upgrade the landscaping in my front yard with the purchase of a small tree. The attached card said that it was easy to care for and it would bloom all summer long with an abundance of white flowers. Gardening is a favorite pastime of mine. It makes it seem as if I am closer to God and I am reminded of His presence as I arrange His beautiful flowers and plants. This little tree was just what I was looking for and I carefully planted it and looked forward to the color and beauty that it would bring this spring.
As the calendar turned to May, when all the other shrubs and flowers were beginning to bud, there was no sign of life in the new tree. I checked it each day and came away convinced that it had not survived the winter. I was disappointed and I planned to dig it up and discard it. I went to several nurseries in an attempt to purchase a replacement, but none were available. I was resigned to the probability that a replacement would be hard to find and I would not get to enjoy the natural beauty that the tree would have provided.
Suddenly, about the third week of May, I noticed the tiniest sliver of green on one of the branches. This fragile creation of nature had survived after all and was coming to life!
As I have watched it slowly generate its leaves and begin to flourish, it has made me realize how easy it is to give up prematurely on something that is important to us. Have you ever begun to doubt your prayers for a special intention because time had passed and you did not feel that God was going to grant it to you? Did you ever wonder why an all merciful and loving God would not provide an answer to your prayers? I have.
My prayers have been offered over a period of years for a special intention that is very special and personal to me. There are times when I have sat in a chapel and just tried to listen for an answer, but heard only silence. It has been long enough that my hope has begun to waver. Maybe the Lord has other plans, but I cannot imagine what they might be. So, I go on and continue my prayers, but each day it seems that I feel more discouraged that the Lord may not bring me what I so want Him to.
As this small tree in my front yard continues to grow and thrive after I had given up on it, it has encouraged me not to give up on God either. He may not always give us what we want in the manner and the time frame that we would like, but, just as this tiny tree has renewed itself, so too, will answers to our prayers make themselves present in God’s time.
This is the season of year when we are surrounded with the splendor of nature as the flowers and plants come alive in all their vibrant colors. It is also a time to renew our faith in the mercy and love of our God and be confident again that He will minister to us and comfort us in our needs. My pretty new tree will be my constant reminder to never, never give up on God.