Friday, February 20, 2015

A Divine Delay ?

A Pearl Maxwell Camellia
I just love it when a bud opens - or better yet several dozen - and out pops a blossom that just about takes my breath away.

Due to the unusually warm weather we have had here in the Northern California foothills this February, lots of things are in bloom about a month early.  Some are even two months early. Daffodils are everywhere you look.  

Camellias that generally do not appear until early April are already in full display.  Azaleas are truly eye-catching.  The black plum trees are already blossomed out and are putting on leaves.

Early enjoyment - what a treat.  Except when it shouldn't be.  Not yet.  Not quite yet.

My wonderful old "Pearl Maxwell" -  is a double-blossomed, pale pink, camellia bush about twelve feet tall.  It is about twenty years old, and it used to be nearly twenty feet tall; but we pruned it back, hard, a couple of years ago.  There is really no point in having blossoms so high only a stray giraffe can see them.

Since it has been hovering around seventy degrees and sunny (and dry, regrettably) old "Pearl" blossomed out in mid-January.  Just sprang forth like a fountain.

And in early February we had a much-needed downpour that lasted three days.  

When the deluge was over, Pearl had not only peaked, but was looking decidedly piqued.  Drippy, dreary, and nearly bare of pink flowers.  She bloomed too early and when the still-winter rain came she got beaten and was left bare.  Phooey!  I just hate when that happens.
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Patience is not my middle name.  I am not known for being blase' about much of anything.  I move, I drive, I go at things.

During these past three years of gardening with a passion, I have learned a lot.  (Not nearly as much as I would like to know ... see paragraph above this one.)

Here are a couple of things I have experienced gardening that are fairly applicable to my spiritual life as well.  Timing is truly everything.  Perennials are not annuals; and bi-annuals and/or what are called tender perennials are not either one.  You can try to force their blooming cyles, but it won't be pretty.

Things pruned hard - which is sometimes necessary - will likely not bloom that season; but look out in year two because you are going to enjoy a bonanza of productivity.

In other words, things do not produce their very best product until the timing is right for them. Not for the variety in the next bed over, nor for the close cousin two rows behind.  

No, they will do their best when they blossom at just their own right time - right for their particular species, variety, or hybrid type.

Sometimes we fret at what we feel are unreasonable delays in the development of our hearts' desires.  We know what we want, and by the way, we want it now.

But just as God has designed the times and seasons for each tree, plant and flower, so has He designed us to blossom at just the right time in each of our lives.  What we perceive as needless delay, He may have ordained as the timing for our very best season yet.

A divine delay will always produce better results than an premature crop of human effort.  Yeesh.  And it took me until now to realize this?  Yes.  Yes, it did.
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Hope you are not feeling drenched or dreary.  But if you are chafing at a delay, I encourage you wait for His timing.  Blessings to each of you - your grateful gardener, Marsha


  1. I bet you are glad not to be living in the northern states at the moment. Not much gardening going on up there. Love your camellia the petals are so perfectly spaced.

    1. diane, You are soooo right. It is 18 below zero in Cleveland, where my husband's family live. Yikes! We are thankful to be where we are.

  2. It seems the older I get the more I realize those divine delays are ... well, divine.

  3. I love when you wrote:
    "But just as God has designed the times and seasons for each tree, plant and flower, so has He designed us to blossom at just the right time in each of our lives."

    That was a message I needed to read this morning. Thank you for that Marsha.

    Blessings and love,

  4. Debbie - It is always a joy to hear from you. Glad some word was encouraging for you.
    Have a really fine day. blessings to you - Marsha