He has made everything beautiful in its time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
See! The winter is past;
The rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
The season of singing has come,
The cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit,
The blossoming vines spread their fragrance. – Song of Solomon 2:11-13
In the past couple of weeks God has been speaking to me about Blossoming – of a Season of Joy-filled Spring… a season of Fulfilled Promises and New Adventures; New Stories to tell. At first it required a bold step of obedience to really allow Him the permission to begin this journey in my heart. I knew that He was asking me to become deliberate in opening my heart to the people around me; to share from the depths of all that He has done in my life and heart and to learn to be vulnerable before people as it would open the way for Him to do many things and would result in God being glorified.
I was terrified.
I hate – more than anything in this world, including frogs, cockroaches and raw onion – being vulnerable with people; truly, heartbreakingly real and uncomfortably exposed-vulnerable with people. I allow a very specific, trusted few into aspects of my heart, but even then, I share only what I feel safe enough to speak of… God was asking me to step out from this Place of Hiding.
I asked for practical steps.
At first he was not as forthcoming and allowed me to figure that one out… it didn’t take long. I knew He had been calling me to do three things;
1. Step out in Faith and begin to serve on the Worship Team at church
2. Become accountable to three specific (and awesome) women of God
3. Begin to share and Speak Out at our weekly community group meetings.
In the space of a week, He enabled me to accomplish all three; I cannot begin to express the impact that obedience has had in my life! A journey of sorts was started – a Journey back to my Heart; a Blossoming. The past fortnight has been incredible; Jesus has truly brought me back to that ‘sweet spot’ in worship where my soul delights only in who He is. Its an awesome place to be.
With this Journey came several Promises, and even in the Glorious Process I managed to lose sight of Jesus for what He was doing – I stopped enjoying the moment and became impatient for the fulfilment.
He reminded me of the beauty of Changing Seasons – how every leaf that changes colour is breathtaking, or every blossom that appears on a stark branch is magnificent in it fragile beauty. Each of these seemingly insignificant appearances needs to be recognised, acknowledged and celebrated. The truest glory of a changing season is the change itself – not the fulfilment of the Next Season. I paused; considered the blossoms forming in my heart and life – and once again became impatient for the Fulfilment.
This morning – while the winter weather kicks in with a vengeance outside – Jesus drew me into a place of worship… and gave me such a stunningly clear image. When I was a child (who am I kidding, I still do this every spring!) I would (still do!) rub the petals of the jasmine buds, opening them in anticipation of their fragrance – but there was none. This morning Jesus spoke so clearly;
Do not force the blossoms open!
A young bud opened before its time releases no fragrance and dies a premature death, never fulfilling its purpose – no bee is attracted, no pollen is collected, no seed is germinated and no new plant can grow.
A blossom allowed to open from within awaits the Perfect Moment, when all that’s within is ready and fully formed. In that Beautiful Moment, as its petals unfold, a glorious fragrance is released – it is intoxicating, overwhelming, lingering – and draws you in… the fragrance is simply the evidence of what is within: the life begetting pollen, sweetened with nectar. In the perfect time, it fulfils its purpose, made beautiful in its perfection.
No matter how ‘ready’ a bud may look, until everything within is Ready for Release, the Perfect Moment has not yet come. Once opened, its fragrance speaks of Blessing and Favour; of God’s Workmanship.
How often do we rush ahead in life, looking at all the signs of the budding blossoms and thinking (in our own pathetic human perspective) that ‘Its Time’? Unless the Opening and Release comes from within – from the promptings of the Holy Spirit – we deceive ourselves and only do damage, possibly even resulting in a premature death of what should have brought Life.
The beauty of the Season is in the process of change; the journey. God delights in the Journey He has begun in each one of us… I pray that you may have patience to wait and take delight in each step of whatever journey He has called you to – that every blossom that forms in your heart may be celebrated and bring praise to Jesus… and that when the Promise is Fulfilled, you’ll realise the treasure was in each blossom, not the Next Season.