Blooming in January

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I was delighted to wake up this morning and see my pomegranate plant embellished with a gorgeous flower.  What a cheery morning greeting; I couldn’t help but feel happy, despite the cold morning of January 31st.

It’s anyone’s guess why it is blooming in January.  Pomegranates usually only bloom in spring and summer; but since my green thumb is partially black, I probably did some forbidden gardening rule which confused my poor little plant.

This little bloom started me thinking about myself and the way I handle life.  When wintertime comes to me through questions, trials, unfulfilled dreams, health concerns, and whatever else the blizzard blows my way, I often shrivel up and shrink into the deep dark shadow of myself.  I start to look and feel like most of my plants who go dormant for winter.  There is no color, there are no blooms, there are no leaves, there is absolutely NOTHING.  People around me even wonder if I am alive anymore.  Oh yes, I can bloom well and be fully alive when the spring of life flows over me with its scent of cherry blossoms, hues of lavender, and touch of sunbeams; but so can all the other plants.  That is when they all burst out of their shell and blossom.

But to do what my little pomegranate plant is doing feels impossible.  If I was sitting in its flowerpot, I would say that the window’s draft is too cold, much to cold to think about blooming.  I would complain that there isn’t enough sunlight during the winter months to gain enough strength for blooming.  I would make the excuse that there will be plenty of time to bloom when my roots are planted deeply into the earth’s soil at transplant time.

And so I would sit there on the shelf, oblivious to the joy and beauty that comes from blooming during winter.  A blessing comes to us, when no matter how cold our Januaries are, we BLOOM!  It’s easy to let the blizzards of life push us into a dead hibernation which separates us from God and everyone else.  I have been there plenty of times.  I feel as if I have nothing left to give, no energy to keep up relationships, and no heart to talk to God.

That is exactly what the blizzard wants us to do; it wants us to be missing out on the joy of blooming- because there is joy in blooming.  Yes, it is tiring and hard; but it is worth it.  Blooming takes effort and time, but it brings color and beauty into one’s own life and the lives of others.

God wants us to come to Him when the trials blow our way.  He wants us to show the world that the light in our hearts and the joy in our spirits isn’t based on what happens to us, but on Who lives within us.  He wants us to find the joy that comes from serving and reaching into the lives of those around us.  When we reach out, we start to forget about ourselves.  Our lives may be facing dark, grey winters, but our hearts are alive with SPRING.

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