After two unexpected funerals in the last month, I’m longing to see something beautiful. People I love are aching.
Crisp snow and barren trees cause me to pine for the colors of spring. When will we see the joy of morning? The night seems to have been so long already.
I asked a stranger in the polling line what he was looking forward to about 2021. He stated something like “anything.” It is an honest answer. We cannot imagine a harder year. We just want something else. Winter has been in our lives long enough.
Lilacs are one of the gifts of spring. Their perfume fills the air. Lilacs are the most abundant after the coldest of winters. If you live in a warm region, you will struggle to grow lilacs.
We don’t like the coldest winters, but if we want the aroma and color of lilacs we must endure. Spring will come.
So as we wait, let’s remember that this is just for a time.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Lord God, Thank you for who You are. I'm so glad that You hear our prayers. Please help us trust you, even in these impossibly cold places. We know you will bring joy with the morning.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
Why is it comforting to remember that struggles are just for a time?
Whose life has reminded you that God does bring joy with the morning? How?
From the Farmers' Almanac
If you are interested in learning more about growing lilacs, here’s an article from Farmers’ Almanac. It begins with a tale of a nymph, Syringa, turning herself into a lilac to hide from an unwanted lover.
Here's the part that interests me most:
“Lilacs need cold winters, which means that they normally only grow in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9. In zones 8 and 9, you’ll have the best luck with specialty varieties that can tolerate warm winters.” from Lilac Growing Tips and Lore by Amber Kanuckel.