I bought a flower bulb on clearance at Target last January when she was studying plants. We watered and waited and danced with joy as green leaves sprouted up and roots grew down. But the beauty fizzled as quickly as it began, and we were left with only the remnants of life. In an act of desperation we dug a whole in the front yard and tossed the plant inside. All summer long while we swam and chalked up the sidewalk, it lay quietly under a couple of inches of sandy, dry earth. We were stunned in December when green leaves shot up from the ground unexpectedly. Our celebration was cut short as a blast of cold air came through town and killed any signs of hope blooming. I could tell she was more than disappointed. Nothing is harder to learn than wait.
Last week she came running in the house and said, “Mommy, it is going to bloom.“ Sure enough, I went to see and there were two buds emerging as if to tell us, “Get ready girls, the show is about to begin.” It should be any day now and she peeks out the window each morning to check. “Wouldn’t it be neat if they bloom for Easter?” She says with a grin. My heart melts because I was thinking the same thing.
Surprises burst into our lives in all sorts of ways. We had another one show up last week that we wish we could toss it in a big hole and cover with dirt. You know the kind that begins with a phone call and ends with you wishing you could go back to the moment right before the phone rang and life got messy. So while we wait for pathology tests and cancel plane tickets for Grandma to come, we learn hard lessons, too. We begin to think nothing good can come from something so bad, until friends show up with bread and their prayers help you breathe in and out.
I turn the porch light off before bed and catch a glimpse of our own little Easter lesson in our front yard. I am reminded that in the darkest of night, God is always working something for our good. See, the hard road is never chosen, but once you are on it, hope blooms at the right time and place. Always.