They speak in many ways these plants and flowers of mine; but only for ears bent in listening. Whispered lessons of sheer delight arrayed in finery bedazzled by the afternoon sun, somber strains of wilted strength slain by heat, even the sadness of wounds endured; all offered to the ear keen for listening. But the best lesson of all lingers in what my garden taught me about resilience.
Welcome back to the garden for a time of Garden Grace, where we allow God to reveal Himself through His creation. Once a month we linger together gleaning all He has for us through the beauty of plants, trees, animals and insects. I can’t wait to share my most recent discovery with you!
Suffering and Adversity teach us we not only can grow, but thrive.Donna Bucher
gardens face adversity too
Extending well into September’s Indian Summer, heat, humidity and little rain over stayed their welcome at least in the garden. Though not the hottest of summers, enough hot days combined with sparse rainfall left many of our garden plants and flowers wilted, dry and damaged.
Despite gallant efforts of sprinklers, rainfall hose nozzles and hand watering cans carried lovingly for the resfreshment of beleagured plants, many plants succumbed to the unkind elements.
Since the season appeared over for some, my husband transplanted them to new homes for next year, dead headed and pruned others, and fearing losing hope, we continued watering. Our efforts turned towards supporting our garden through adversity.
Resilience on display in the garden
Finally subsiding, the intense heat gave way to more pleasant temperatures and early autumn rains. The eventual arrival of the Autumnal Equinox shifted the haunts of the afternoon sun providing relief for sun parched plants and flowers.
Times of refreshing visited the garden and breathed the freshness of mornings fraught with dew and early evening’s cool breezes.
The balm of these changes wrought wondrous transformation upon the distressed and weary. Everywhere my gaze lingered, new, lush, green growth appeared, from dead dry leaves and stems, the vigor of life pierced the old with the new. The garden once dwindling beneath summer’s harsh hand, now shone in supple resilience.
what my garden taught me about resilience
Enjoying a leisure perusal of seasonal mums, autumn plants and pumpkins scattered in my gardens, a delightful surprise greeted me. Vibrant roses, delicate balloon flowers, hyssop blooms and widespread new growth danced on the evening breeze.
These beauties which rarely call autumn their home, smiled their declaration of truimph over adversity.
Even spring favorite, the Jacob’s Ladder plants, some mostly died back, boasted revived foliage. The loveliest beauty met me in the fragrance of two small lavender blossoms. Entranced, my eyes lingered on hope sprung from the scars of adversity: the very secret of resilience.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
lessons on resilience
Breathing in the beauty and bravery of resilience in my garden enlivened my hope and understanding of adversity in my own life. Meditating upon the lessons on resilience gifted me by my time in the garden changed my perspective on enduring the hard seasons of life.
- Harsh conditions are a part of life. In this life you will have trouble. (John 16:33) Just as my plants and flowers experienced the brutal heat and times of drought, life’s trouble should not surprise you.
- Adversity leaves scars. Life’s harsh treatment comes in many forms and will leave you wilted, scarred and wandering in dry places spiritually. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
- Resilience may require pruning. As with the damaged plants in my garden, pruning and deadheading strengthened their resilience and brought new growth and fruitfulness. (John 15:1-3) God meets you in the harsh places and removes that which hinders you, allowing new growth.
- Support from others encourages resilience. Our continual support through watering, pruning, deadheading and transplanting nurtured garden resilience. God sends other believers into your harsh places, helping you endure. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Never lose hope. Despite the damaged appearance of some plants and flowers, I watered and nurtured them, retaining hope. Likewise, every harsh circumstance holds eternal hope within. God works in the dark, trust the outcome to Him. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
- God renews. Viewing the beauty of flowers re-blooming and new lush growth demonstrated resilience from within. Though life’s harsh places cripple us at times, waiting on God renews and creates fresh strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
- Seasons Change. Summer faded into autumn and with it brought a reprieve to beleagured plants and flowers. Seasons of life change too; no matter how long, life’s harsh seasons always end ushering in times of refreshing and God’s replenishment. (Jeremiah 31:25)
the garden grace of resilience
Casting a loving gaze upon each area of my garden, a smile breaks upon my lips, slowly at first, then brightens my whole face. Yes, this lesson on garden resilience whispered by these plants of mine tells a familiar story.
A story of storms, disappointments, hardships, even betrayal: yet through it all the glory of a loving Creator speaks the last word; “My beloved, though you fall, you will rise again; though you sit in darkness, I will be your Light.” (Micah 7:8)