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?

5 comments:

Jenni said...

Yup, I'll join you there! Thanks so much for this, Carol!! Bless you!

Kimberly said...

so appreciated these last several blogs..beautifully done!

David and Sarah Fry said...

oh, how I love this post....That's an illustration I'd like to steal and use, if I may?

Sarah Cook said...

Oh, I just happened to find your blog, and thought to my-self, "hey, that looks like the front of my church!" Then, I remembered about that wedding we didn't get to attend. As I scrolled down, I saw our friend, Sister Hobbs... she is dear!
I just love this post, it is very rich! Thanks for the illustration!

iris said...

Thanks for the encouragement and truth in this post, Carol. God has been speaking to me lately about all he does in the dark, under the surface, where no one can see but him. He is working indeed. Working miracles!

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