16. Yellow Blooms of Hope

YELLOW BLOOMS OF HOPE

It took me by surprise as I walked out of the door of my house this morning.  It probably shouldn’t have because it happens every year about this time.  I planted them over 15 years ago for this very reason.  But somehow being greeted by their bright yellow blooms surprised me this morning.  The daffodils that lined by walkway from the street had blossomed almost overnight and were standing regally in the bright morning sunlight.

I’m one of those people who normally seems to have a “brown thumb”.  For some reason I just can’t keep plants growing and thriving.  I can put them in “Miracle Grow”, water them, and try to get them the right amount of sunlight, but more often the plants under my care seem to struggle to survive.  It’s very frustrating!

However, the daffodils are a different story.  When we first bought our house almost 20 years ago now I went to Home Depot and got a bag of daffodil bulbs. It was summer time, so I was told they wouldn’t actually bloom until the next spring, but they were on sale so I took a chance. I diligently buried the bulbs all along my walkway leading up to the front door from the street and then quickly forgot about them.  In fact, I didn’t purposely do anything over the next 9 months to encourage them to grow.  They were buried in the dirt, and probably got watered from the sprinkler or the rain, but if they decided to grow I wouldn’t be able to take any credit.

As you might imagine, when green stems began to sprout up the next February I was somewhat surprised.  When those stems develop flowers that actually bloomed I was shocked.  Those bulbs that had been buried and seemingly dormant for nine months suddenly sprung to life.  The bright yellow flowers were a testimony to the world that my daffodils were still alive!!  Though they would only last for a few weeks before losing their blooms and eventually fading back into a dormant state, their presence each spring thereafter always brought a smile to my face.

This morning their surprising reappearance got me to thinking.  Though I’ve seen this act before at this of year, I had never put together the lesson of faith these little yellow flowers bring with them. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that daffodils bloom just a few days or weeks before Easter each year.  They spring to life almost as a testimony that they cannot be kept silent and buried in the dirt.

Our Christian faith is based on a similar story.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central truth of history.  His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection are not just stories passed down through the generations.  If Jesus didn’t actually rise from the dead then our faith in Him to forgive our sins in preparation for an eternity in heaven is completely unfounded.  As CS Lewis once explained, Jesus is either the Lord, a liar or a raving lunatic. Jesus’ death and resurrection are our source of hope in a world filled with chaos.

Like those daffodils we will have our time under the sun.  We’ll try to make the best of the opportunities life sends our way.  We work hard, play hard, and at times even pray hard.  We do our best to brighten the day for others – family, friends, co-workers and even strangers.  For a season we stand tall and proud – strong, capable, productive members of our community.

But in reality we all know the day is coming when we, too, will begin to fade like the daffodils along my walkway.  Our bodies will begin to give out, our influence will wane, and our time in the sun will come to an end.  In the end we will be buried – as dormant as those daffodils bulbs in the winter.

Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story! If we trust in the words of scripture one day we will escape that dormant state and be more alive than we ever dreamed possible.  We live and die in the hope of that resurrection.   Our faith in Jesus Christ is the source of that hope, believing in the promise of His word.

As I stood there staring at my daffodils this morning my heart was encouraged.  If that little flower can be “resurrected” each spring, I can trust the God who created life and has promised that one day I will be with Him forever in heaven.

I’m not anxious to die or to be buried, but I can’t help but be excited by the prospect of blooming again in a resurrected body that will display all the glory of God. I’m ready to stand tall and proud like my daffodils in the light of His love.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”  – John 14:3