Reflections by Dot Cutter — March 2019
This past Christmas, my husband sleuthed out a source for a particularly beautiful amaryllis that I had eyed in a catalog and waited too long to order. You guessed it; it was sold out and I was ruing my procrastination. Yet my husband persisted until he found a reasonable facsimile. I was amazed and thrilled, not just with the gift but with the love that search represented. (Hey! Wait a minute! It’s February; the sun is glistening off a fresh coating of snow in my yard; the thermometer has yet to reach even 20 degrees! Why am I focused on flowers?) Because this morning the Lord showed me a story and a truth behind that bulb.
I usually pot amaryllis bulbs mid-to-late January but other time-sensitive needs took priority, so it sat in its little brown paper bag on top of a gardening tub in a corner of my laundry room. It was dormant, so no problem. February came and I suddenly remembered that nice fat bulb. Better get it started! Imagine the shock when I opened the bag to find a short, yellowish-green stem curled out about 4 inches with a dry, withered, striped pink flower attached. It was so eager to show forth its beauty it didn’t wait for me to get it properly potted. Nope! It bloomed on its own timetable cramped up in that bag. My heart sank and my husband was none too pleased as he saw his effort and money go up in smoke. Well, not literally. But wait — what am I seeing? Another little sprout poking out the opposite side of the bulb looked like it might have promise. My husband shot me a look that said, “Good luck with that!” but I got out a pot and the potting soil which I’d soaked a bit, then tucked the bulb in before setting it on a window shelf. Within three days that shoot had grown 5 inches and had 2 nice fat buds on it. I was ecstatic! Rotating it each day helps keep the stalk growing straight, though in time it will have to be staked as the blooms become too heavy for the tall stalk to adequately support.
I am excited to see just what this amaryllis will bring forth. Have I lost the primary stem of flowers? Definitely! Will this secondary stem bring forth a beauty all its own, absent the competition for nutrients that would have been taken by the primary stem? We shall see; but I am hopeful and optimistic as early signs are encouraging.
God is so economical, using life’s simple things to teach us spiritual principles for a victorious life in Him. Sometimes our walk resembles my experience with that amaryllis in that we disregard marvelous opportunities lovingly set before us; we don’t recognize them until it’s too late. Other times we actually push them aside in favor of a more tempting activity or an easier course of action. Once we recognize that missed opportunity, we feel defeated and ashamed. But God doesn’t waste opportunities. He is a loving, merciful, forgiving God — a God of more than enough. He often brings another one around — a second chance, if you will. Perhaps not identical, but similar enough so we learn from it. It’s then that we actually achieve a victory that becomes a building block in our road to maturity. Along the way, we too may need to be “staked up” with help from other believers, resources (books, videos, TV & radio program), study groups, prayer, worship songs, time spent alone with the Lord — all tools of the Holy Spirit used to grow us into those tall, strong, capable Christians who are fruitful in His Kingdom. Let’s face it. Regardless of our personalities, we simply were not created to thrive cooped up in our own little brown paper bags! So this spring let’s break out. Seek Him more intentionally. Let’s commit ourselves to being more open to new possibilities, consistently purposing to thrive wherever God is planting us.
Blessings in Christ,