Thursday, February 23, 2017

IT'S ONLY A CHAPTER, NOT THE END OF THE BOOK

 
Though I can't remember which devotional those words came from, they've stuck with me, reminding me, when things look particularly dark or discouraging, not to judge the end of a book by the chapter in its middle.  This amaryllis is a wonderful illustration why.

My friend gave it to me in a starter kit for Christmas, and after carefully following the instructions on how to plant the bulb, I put it on my windowsill in the same spot where the one she had given me the Christmas before had thrived and grown tall.

Before long, a single stalk emerged and started to grow, but unlike its predecessor, it did not shoot up or grow tall.  Nor did a second stalk appear.  I watched and waited with great anticipation, but it stopped growing at about half the height I expected it to reach, and it's top, where the buds should be, looked frayed and brown around the edges.  I continued watering it and turning it towards the sun, but as more and more days went by with no sign of change,  I gave up on it and declared it dead.

One evening, shortly after that declaration, I noticed that the stalk seemed a little taller, and its frayed top had opened slightly.  Was it my imagination? But no. A few days later, buds started to appear, and my heart sang a song of joy as I realized my "defunct" plant was not dead at all.  It was starting to bloom. Right on time. God's perfect time.

Before long, those buds turned into four stunning flowers.  and as if that weren't enough, when those four flowers faded and died, two more buds popped up to replace them.

How often have I been ready to give up on something because it seemed hopeless, walking away before it had a chance to come to fruition; or been convinced that I had reached a dead end and come face to face with something too impossible to be turned around.  And yet contrary to what my natural eyes or intellect may try to tell me, nothing is impossible with God. The story is never over until He finishes it.

                                         "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and
                                          lean not on your own understanding."
                                          (Proverb3:5)