As promised, we awoke this morning in southeast Alabama to a fanciful display of ice and a fine sprinkling of snow. This is definitely not the norm for our temperate climate! Bone-chilling temperatures and frozen layers of earth are a rare occurrence here. Shrubs and tree branches heavily laden with ice crystals have created a magical winter wonderland. The soil, garden furniture and planters are blanketed in a quilt of fine powder.
Winter is a time of waiting. Plants and trees are retreating – tucking themselves into winter’s womb until spring beckons them out. However, this season’s dormancy will help to guarantee the beauty of our spring and summer gardens in a few short months. During this season, we can also embrace the Lord’s plan for our lives: even though it may involve patiently waiting – the process of becoming what He wants us to be. Elisabeth Elliot states in her book, Keep a Quiet Heart: “Wait patiently for the Lord. He will turn to you and hear your cry. It is amazing how clear things become when we are still before Him, not complaining, not insisting on quick answers, only seeking to hear His word in the stillness, and to see things in His light”. Waiting teaches us that our Master Gardener’s timing is best, and is often a prerequisite as He does some needed pruning in our lives.
“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle . . . a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream”.