L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables famously said, “I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” I couldn’t agree more. I love everything about October from the way the air dries out, to the smell of the harvest to the grand finale of the year as the leaves testify that God’s creativity is beyond compare.
The predictability is comforting to me as the yellows, oranges and reds each taking a turn in the ballet of color. So when I noticed a shock of purple in the mix on a morning run, on a lilac bush no less, I stopped to take note.
Sure enough, while all the other deciduous foliage was calling it a year, one lone lilac bush was blooming defiantly.
I am no botanist. But I do know that lilacs bloom in May, not October. Was this plant confused? Is there a variety of lilacs I wasn’t aware of? Why was this happening? Not one to let a question just be, I did what any other American would do. I Googled it.
It turns out, lilacs can bloom in the fall. It is rare, but it can happen. They set their buds in the summer after their spring blooms. But if the weather is unusual or particularly stressful, it triggers them to bloom.
I had to let that sink in. Stressful conditions caused these plants to bloom. Against all odds. In the wrong season. And with enough savior faire to stand out in the crowd of yellows, oranges and golds. I kinda wanted to cheer for them. Well done, Lilacs! Good for you!
Instead, I decided to run that exact route every day to enjoy one of my favorite spring flowers out of season.
I couldn’t help but draw the obvious parallel between my own personal season of stress which transitioned into a period of global stress. We are all under stress here. And there are precious few days I feel like blooming under the weight of it all. But if I stop and reflect, even in compounded seasons of hard, there have been multiple moments where I was defiantly blooming. Against all odds. In the wrong season. And with enough savior faire to stand out in the crowd of pain, grief and stress. I kinda wanted to cheer for me. Well done, Tammie! Good for you!
The thing is, I didn’t bloom without strategically placing myself near a source of life. When it seemed as if most of what I held dear in life was being stripped away, I held fast to the truth of God’s word. It was life-giving.
“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.”Psalm 119:92-93
We are told in the Word that drawing close to the Lord is the very thing that will sustain us in every trial.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit”Jeremiah 17:7-8
There is so much wisdom and promise packed into these two verses: Blessed is the one who TRUSTS in the Lord and places confidence in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends its roots by the stream.
I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. I am glad God uses nature to remind us of his promises. And I am grateful that He made a way for us to bloom in every season and against all odds. I hope and pray you join me in leaning in and trusting Him all the more in this and every season.