Who would have imagined that a city girl would grow to love and appreciate gardening? Well, I do. Growing up in an apartment where my mom rented for a little over 30 years, we did not have access to the grounds. We had a magnificent landlord (Shout out Mrs. Wilson), but it just wasn’t our land. My mother grew up in the country, and I’m told my grandmother had a beautiful garden. So, when I purchased my first home, tilling the land to “see what happens next,” was quickly on my agenda. I enjoyed myself immensely in that first garden, and when Niani and I were to move, I wanted to take it with me. I appreciated the tenacity of something emerging from a seed. There are so many biblical references to gardening and growth, and being able to put theory into practice was quite illuminating. I can literally sit for hours staring at flowers and recalling their original state. Summer is ending, fall actually begins today, September 23rd and yet interesting and surprising things are still occurring in my garden. First, the eight o’clocks, which I wrote about a few weeks ago are still blooming. They made their debut during the month of May. It’s just incredible because last year they lie dormant. Secondly, a Sister-In-Christ gifted me with a plant back in May. Given that it’s October, I can’t recall what the original flower looked like, but whatever it was, I responded to her post that read, “If anyone is interested, let me know.” I inboxed her and we agreed to meet at church. She told me, “You need to get it in the ground quickly.” So after dance ministry rehearsal, I found myself digging a hole in the dark, attempting to follow her directions. Since May, the plant has grown. Its stalk, thick, wide and seemingly strong. But it just remained green. All around it, I’ve had two different types of red flowers, one being lilies, a multitude of the yellow eight o’clocks, purple flowers, and a bevy of sunflowers. I’ve loved every flower and plant in the garden and wondered if the plant I placed in the ground in the dark would ever join in the fun. Every other flower in the garden, those that I can name and those that I’m unable to, were planted in the same soil, they received an equal amount of sun and rain. They shared the exact conditions, and yet some bloomed and one did not. Have you ever thought about yourself or your circumstance in a similar manner? That you were under the same teaching, or the same household, same school, same work responsibilities, at the same event, eating an identical diet, whatever the case may be and your life resulted in something completely opposite as another person? Further, does it feel as though their “whatever” resulted more profitably, more beneficial, dare we say, better?
The way our God is set up, He has no respect of persons (Acts 10:34), which means, He is impartial. We are each individually and collectively blessed and it may show up in a myriad of ways. We cannot expect that even when conditions are aligned that results appear in an identical manner. I’ve surely been guilty of this expectation, but I’ve also been on the demonstrated end of the continuum and desired people to be equally happy for me when my breakthrough manifested. Sharing time and space with others on this earth requires us to be equally balanced, maintaining our hope in what is to come, while concurrently celebrating the hope that has arrived for someone else.
On Saturday evening, my mother and I cut down the brown stalks of the sunflowers that have gone away. Since we have so many of them in front of the house, they take up a lot of space. During the evening we noticed a few eight o’clocks still hanging on. I made a mental note to secure a few fall flowers in pots and begin thinking about what I wanted to see next spring and summer in the garden. I elected not to cut down the green stalk that was planted in May. It is quite tall, and I elected to allow the elements to treat it accordingly. It was the most visible plant left now that the sunflower stalks were cleared. It looked rather odd actually, as if we forgot to remove it with the other remnants of summer. Have you ever stood waiting for God to bless you when others have lost their expectation and almost ridicule you for your foolish faith? I imagine that is what we’ve looked like. Standing alone, appearing strong, hopeful, yet empty.
On Sunday morning, while leaving for church, we noticed the most beautiful spectacle. Four months later after planting immediately upon receipt, we finally witnessed what God had planned all along. The most beautiful, bold and audacious flower bloomed at the pinnacle of the thick green stalk. We were mesmerized. Not only was it breathtakingly stunning, but it stood out all the more since every other flower in the garden was gone. Further, since it’s actually the first day of fall, one might apply a Matthew 20:16 anointing on it which affirms, “The Last shall be first!”
Friend, I don’t know how long you’ve been waiting on the manifestation of God’s hand upon your life or something or someone attached to you. But be not weary, God has not forgot. Continue to do your work in the dark, and in due season, anticipate a move of God that will dazzle your soul. It’s not easy in these streets to be sure. We see ourselves working while others may be playing with the same gift. Yet we must maintain our focus and intentionality to be and emerge just as God intended. God always saves the best for last.