21 November 2010

God's doing good things in the darkness

Several nights ago I remembered my poinsettia.

It was a gift to me a year ago after Daniel’s dad’s wedding. The day after Thanksgiving to be exact.

It was one of two at the front of the church for Daddy and Daryl’s very beautiful Christmas wedding. Please take it home with you, they’d said.
It was a huge, gorgeous poinsettia. It even survived the trip from Ohio to Pennsylvania in the back of our Suburban. In the cold. Nestled among suitcases.

And I enjoyed it all through Christmas.

Fast forward six months.

It spent the entire summer on my front porch. It was watered. Not very regularly, I must admit. For part of the summer I was even red-neck enough to let it sit on the porch below the air conditioner sticking out of my dining room window and let the condensation drip into the pot. Lazy woman’s watering can.

You get the picture. I kind of wanted it to live, but I really didn’t give it too much attention. It even survived the mini-tornado whose high winds removed everything from the front porch.

When it started getting cold I decided to bring it inside. It was still big and leafy and green. Not looking very Christmasy at all. But I’d heard somewhere that it needs to be in a dark place.

Ah ha! The basement dungeon we’ve got would be just the place. I took it down and watered it well.

And promptly forgot about it.

I’d meant to check on it every week and water it. You know, check in on it and see how it was faring. Didn’t happen. For me it’s “out of sight, out of mind.”

Until that night I mentioned several days ago. Oh no! I’d forgotten all about that poinsettia! By now I was kind of hoping that somehow I’d be able to coax it into blooming. For Christmas.

Today I remembered to check on that poor, forgotten plant, deep in the hidden recesses of my basement.

And there he stood. Tall. Green. Not wilting a bit. With a few whitish leaves on the top and a few just starting to turn red.

I was shocked, to say the very least.

Something was going on. There. In the dark.

In the dark and damp of my basement, the poinsettia retained moisture in its soil that light and warm air would have stolen from it. And somehow, the darkness is causing changes in its leaves. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a blooming poinsettia for Christmas.

What is God doing in your darkness?

It’s far too easy for me to curse the darkness. I want bright sunny days. Beautiful breezes. Warmth. Light. Fresh air.

But in my dark and damp God is keeping my soil from drying out too quickly. I water it regularly with tears. And He knows that deep inside the heart of the plant, darkness is necessary to produce the most beautiful blooms.

Is my basement a lovely place? Nope. The part of the basement where I put the poinsettia is pitch black and has a gravel floor. It’s a little damp. I don’t love to go there. It’s not a good place for many things.

But it’s a good place for my poinsettia.

But not for long. Only for a period of time.

Then, up he comes. Back to the sunlight. Back to the warmth of my home. Back to the pedestal where he can sit and be admired. Hopefully sporting beautiful blooms.

Remember, your darkness won’t be forever. God’s only keeping you there so your roots can drink deeply. And so the darkness can cause you to bloom.

I’m wanting to rest in my dark place and let God do His stuff. Care to join me?

04 November 2010

Preparing a place. . .

We’re getting a room ready for Daniel’s grandma. She spent several weeks with us last winter and we’re preparing for her coming again this winter. She doesn’t like to be alone in her little house and since no family members are close to her, she comes to us.

Last year she climbed the stairs to our sparest of spare rooms. This year her hips are bothering her. She wonders what the cancer is doing in her body. It’s a slow-growing type, but still enough to cause worries.

The progress on the room continues. The room used to be an office for Daniel and I. My desk was moved to the school room. Daniel will use his laptop wherever he likes. (But that’s normal.) He’s also in the process of building several tall bookshelves to accommodate our tremendous library.

We tore off old wallpaper. We patched walls. We sanded. We painted. There is trim that needs to be painted. Trim that needs to be hung. A door to be stained. Carpet to be cleaned. A bed and dresser to be moved into the room. Curtains to be located. (I’ve shopped, but haven’t found the right ones yet.)

The shepherd’s staff is stuck into the flower bed below her window. It’s waiting for the bird feeder to be hung. I need to clean the window. The light fixture needs to be dusted.

Did I mention we’re preparing?

And then several days ago I began to wonder. Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for me.

We’ve sure had a great deal of fun getting Mammaw’s room ready for her. We’ve dreamed up things we’re sure she’ll enjoy. A bird feeder so she can watch birds. Books on the shelves. Ones we think she might love to read. A comfy recliner where she can sit. A bed with flannel sheets and a nice thick comforter. Homey. Cozy. Welcoming. Inviting. Restful. Peaceful. Warm.

And Jesus is getting a place ready for me.

Kinda made me wonder what it’s taking for him to actually do that. I mean, consider that he spoke into existence our present earth, sun, moon and stars. Six days and we get oceans, skies, planets, pineapples, rabbits, earthworms, goldfish, green beans, eagles, hornets, alligators, anteaters, fleas, bamboo, palm trees.

And since he left his friends on earth and returned to his father some odd 2,000 years ago he’s been working on a “place” for me? Hmmm. Must be some kinda place.

I wonder if he ever feels the same giddy excitement I feel in getting a simple room ready for Mammaw. I’m pretty sure he does.

But Mammaw’s room isn’t ready just yet. We still need more time. There is more work yet to be done. But when the time is right, she’ll come. Daniel will go pick her up and bring her here himself.

Must mean Jesus is still working too. The “place” isn’t quite ready yet. The thing is, he wants me to be working while I wait for him.

Mammaw has things she wants to get done before she comes to our house. Paperwork to attend to. A doctor to see. She’s not just sitting around waiting for us to come for her.

I keep seeing things around me (and in me) I know he wants me to be working on.

How bout’ you? Do you think much about the “place” he’s preparing? Are you working until he comes for you?
Related Posts with Thumbnails