Rain Shine Rain Spring!
Tradition has it that April showers bring May flowers. In North Carolina, March showers bring April flowers. It seems like every time we have a rainy day, the next day when I walk in the woods, more leaves have sprouted, more mayapples have unfolded, and more trees are sporting their flowers and seeds. As I said last week, once it starts, it seems to speed up. One day there are a few buds on the trees, the next day the sky is filled with lacey treetops, and the forest’s understory is greening up.
Each week I try to walk in the nature preserve because some of the wildflowers bloom only for a few days. If you miss a week, you miss the flowering until next year. The bloodroot only appears for a few days, the hepatica for probably two weeks.
One of the very first wildflowers to bloom starts with deep purple buds on long stalks and then turns golden yellow as it bursts into bloom. Who would have thought that it would change colors? The first time I encountered this, I was so surprised. What will God surprise me with next?
Along the path of the nature preserve, the heart-shaped leaves and blossoms of the ginger plant are just beginning to form. Right now, if you pull back the leaf covering at the base of the stems, you will find flower and leaf buds in an embryonic stage. Soon they will form flowers that look like little mottled pink and cream jugs, and new leaves will emerge. The last time I walked in the preserve, I stopped about every twenty feet to push back the fallen tree leaves and uncover these tiny buds. Not every plant produces them, so it’s a bit hit or miss. I tried to remember where the ones showing little nubs were the week before so I could recheck them. My pup was very patient as I was digging around in the woods!
In each of these cases, the forest needs warmth and light as well as rain. Without those three elements, we wouldn’t have spring. Last week there were no fern fronds. This week, they are four to six inches above the ground. It’s fun to notice how slowly or rapidly the earth is unfolding its new outfit. I try to keep a calendar of birds and wildflower appearances so I can compare year to year.
My message this week is simple. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”* As spring unfolds, thank your God for the beauty He is revealing to you. Try not to miss a day of it. Every day is a new day with the Lord. But just like the wildflowers and trees need the sunlight and nourishment of the rain, we need to be nourished by His Word. If we lack wisdom, we know to ask God. He gives it generously. Listen for His voice and bask in the sunlight of His love.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NLT
*Psalm 37:4 ESV