“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Last fall, my Granny pointed out her window and said, “I’ve been planting tulilps all day.” Now, I don’t have her green thumb, but I know enough about plants to know that her tulips come from bulbs. I looked out and saw…nothing. Nothing except for a small bit of evidence that the soil had been shifted around.
“And they’ll come up…when will they come up again?” I asked her.
“Oh, they’ll come up in the Spring. They better, after all that work I did!” she exclaimed.
All winter long, Granny has waited expectantly for her tulips to arrive above-ground. This has been an exceptionally wet winter, with days upon days of rain. Some days, when the gloom just fell down like a blanket, she’d sigh and say, “I’ll be glad when my tulips come up.”
She never even considered that they might not bloom. She KNEW they’d come up. She KNEW that what she planted in the fall would come to pass, even though she couldn’t see the growing, the moving, the changing underground. She never dug up the bulbs to see if they were doing what she knew they should be doing. She had faith that what she couldn’t see was what was happening.
We live right beside my grandmother. For the past week, she has told me to come down and look at her tulips. They are glorious! Today, I snapped some pictures of the product of her hard work and faith.
It gave me pause.
This week, I have grieved over my empty classroom and the empty church building. I have missed my kindergarten friends more than I thought I could, and I have cried over thoughts of a sanctuary on Sunday morning with no singing, no rustling of the pages of scripture, and no precious times with a church family that I love.
But this is our time to take what has been planted in us, and use it to push forward! To change, to transform into a more Christ-centered, prayer-focused people. This is our time to appreciate what we never knew we had. To plan on how we can be better stewards of what we still have, even if we can’t get to it for a temporary time.
And this situation, it is temporary.
And when it is over, can you imagine how many teachers will be just a little bit softer towards the hearts of their students, their voices a little more gentle, their hearts a little more understanding? Can you imagine how many classrooms will be filled with joyful laughter, celebration of just being together, and happy welcome-back hugs? How many jobs will be filled with purpose for the task at hand?
And just imagine with me…on that first Sunday back in the Lord’s house, together again with our families, the joy in the hearts and on the faces of our loved ones, the singing that comes from a soul rejoicing, the voices lifted in praise to the One who brought us through this hard winter of the uncertainty of an illness…I can’t wait.
It may be in April, May, or even next fall.
I don’t know when the time will be. I don’t want to rush this time, as much as I miss my school babies and my church family. It is a necessary time.
As hard as it can be, I hope that we all cherish this time and praise the Gardener for the planting, the changing, and the growing within us.
Because when we push through the surface, it will be a glorious and beautiful time.
Just like Granny’s tulips.