Mountain Laurel Blooms

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV

It’s almost Spring Break in Texas and the day is cloudy, gray, and 28 degrees! Its hard to imagine lying on a beach or by a pool in the sun by this weekend, and yet that’s what many of us are planning to do. In Texas, weather is very likely to change. Plus, we always get that one last cold snap right before Spring. So we choose to focus on the sun that is coming. This really helps endure the cold today.

And has that lovely purple bloom caught your eye or nose lately? Mountain Laurels! I look so forward to them each year and as soon as I see the first bloom,  I make my move and inhale deeply. The deep evergreen foliage suddenly blooms with  suspended grape-like flower clusters. It only happens once a year and then for just  a few weeks in March or April.  It is an event. I sniff every chance I get.  Inhale deeply, if you haven’t tried it. Is it possible it smells like “grape” ? It is  purple-sweet, heady and distinct. The foliage is evergreen, but the flowers are a once a year treasure. Nothing else smells like this. It is an event that I anticipate that is  so worth the wait.  

Sometimes obedience to God is like this amazing flower. His call is daily. It is not what “feels good”,  but it is what is right.  It is often waiting. We show God love by obeying His guidelines. Loving God and our family is daily. It is carving out time to pray and read His word when we don’t feel like it. Love considers the other person before ourselves, and God commanded us to love. Obeying that command is like a Mountain Laurel. It is daily and constant, waiting for amazing. Would be imitations do not satisfy. Obedient love is also like that flower…amazing when it does bloom! The heady scent permeates lives and enlivens the senses, and ushers in a whole new season! Obedience lived out bears fruit. Sometimes it may feel like you are doing a bunch of un”fun” nothing, but when it’s obeying God, it is always something special. It’s how we get to our purpose. The blooms are coming…and will be worth the wait. It may be cold and cloudy now, but the sun is coming. The Son IS also coming…you can count in it. 

Prayer from Timothy 1:9, John 15:5, and Galatians 6:9:

Awesome Lord,  You are the One who created us and planned out how we would grow and when we would bloom before the world began. You saved us! You gave each of us life with a purpose. You loved us enough to entwine our purposes with Yours so we could be a part of something meaningful. I have no impact unless I live out Your purpose for my life. Help me to give up hope in all the fruitless “I”, “me” and “my” roads and walk steadily forward on the road towards You. Help me walk out obedience when it is cold and colorless. Help me to know You more today than yesterday. I’m going to do my best to love You and my family today. May tomorrow be like that, too  as I steadfastly check in …to remain in You. Even when its hard. Help me not grow weary in doing good, but realize that in due time I will reap. And help me to be Your warmth and Light in someones cold and dark place. Help me to bloom in Your timing for Your purpose. I praise You on this cold gray day as Your Light glows within me. Thank You for that constant, no-matter-what-love. Amen.