There it is, in all its glory!


IMG_9583_2I thought it would never happen, that its agonizingly slow growth couldn’t possibly beat the frost that would prevent its bloom.

But voila!


It got planted late, because there didn’t seem to be a place for it anywhere. Finally I plunked the three bulbs into a big clay pot of planting mix, and set it in the sun, and watered, and waited.

And waited.

When nothing, and I mean nothing, was happening, with this big pot of plantless soil looking foolish there on the patio, I moved it around to the trash-can side of the garage, and largely forgot about it, largely gave it up.

But spring and summer both kept giving rain faithfully at optimum intervals, watering everything for me—including this lily I was ignoring.

Then one day, passing by, I saw the green sprouts poking out from the deep brownness.

Ah! So I dragged the planter back to the patio and gave it a generous drink  of cool water.

It did grow, but not at earth-shaking speed. Millimeter by millimeter, that’s all.

A long lot of weeks passed before the stalk had some height and a bud started forming at its apex. Finally that (possibly empty) promise of bloom started swelling and elongating, but, again, how slow!

Fall was approaching faster than lily flowering. And frost, which would put abrupt end to all its possibities, was already overdue.

Then one afternoon I came in from the garden, and what a splendorifous surprise!


For days after that, every time I approached the back porch, the sight of it startled my heart with a rush of warmth all over again. The magnificent thing seemed to welcome me with petals thrown wide like arms, glowing with life and joy and praise to its Designer. And it seemed to speak to me as heart to heart, a message of kinship and hope.

I too am a late bloomer. I also got planted late. Sometimes there has seemed to be no place for me to fit in anywhere, either. And how often I’ve shaken my head in dismay at the slowness of my growth! At times it looks like all my efforts and hopes for holy bloom will never reach even close to the fruition I long for before this lifetime’s end!

But God’s yet more faithful than this year’s rains. And He doesn’t give up on me, even when I do. What hope and encouragement I find in that radiant lily’s reminder of these truths!

It’s worth the straining and stretching to grow upward toward Him. It’s worth the persevering and waiting…

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light…
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him…

-Psalm 37:5-7



2 thoughts on “Late Bloomer: Lesson from a Lily

    1. Hi Sue. Thanks for this focus on patience. It’s just the reminder I need this morning. And the best way to it that I know is to let go my steely grip on whatever is “fretting” me, roll it into His hands, and “rest in Him,” like the text says. Glad you stopped to comment. 🙂

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