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What I Learned From A Gladiola

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15:58

Two years ago, I ordered some gladiola bulbs. I'm not an expert gardener, but I made careful preparation.

First, I planted the bulbs at just the right time in a raised bed with fortified soil. I knew I couldn't just plant them in our yard. We have lots of clay in the soil, which can get very soggy.

Second, I covered the raised bed with mesh, so varmints couldn't eat the bulbs. We have squirrels, snakes (see day one) armadillos, birds, rabbits and even deer who could make a meal on the bulbs.

Third, I watered the newly planted bulbs and waited for them to grow. From the bulb catalog, I expected to see blooms by late summer.

Within a few weeks, I saw green stems growing. But I waited for blooms, which never came.

I must have done something wrong. Or maybe the bulbs needed a full year to bloom. So I was hopeful for the next year.

Still nothing. I pretty much gave up on the flowers assuming I had done something wrong.

Then last week, I looked out to see a single white gladiola! I could hardly believe my eyes! One was blooming after two years!

I was delighted to watch the gladiola develop more blooms and get even more beautiful. Now I see others start to bud.

My preparations were paying off after all. It just took a lot longer than I thought.

Isn't that how life works sometimes? We make preparations but don't see results right away. We pray but don't see answers immediately. So we're tempted to give up.

My gladiola reminded me to hang on when things take longer than I thought. Chances are, you're waiting on something. Or you will be soon. Don't give up. Stand firm.

Lord, give us encouragement while we wait.


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