“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” Good question, even if the nursery rhyme answer is a bit bizarre.

18 months ago I was given, on Mother’s Day, a box of mixed flower seeds. I sowed half of them last year and half this year and awaited results. The seeds were an eclectic lot, some as tiny as grains of sand, some perfectly round, others lumpy and bumpy, all a boring beige or brown in colour. Their appearance was unpromising.

The results of throwing them onto soil and allowing the wind, rain and sun to do their stuff, have been astonishing and, to be honest, humbling. I didn’t do anything to make the seeds grow into flowers. The colours, sizes, shapes, patterns and, above all, their resilience, have been spectacular. The flowers have brought joy, not only to me, but to all who sense and see them – butterflies, bees, and people.

The flowers look their best under a blue sky with the sun shining on them. Today the wind howls and challenges the flowers’ uprightness, the rain batters them, and the flowers bend and bow. But they’re still there, hanging on, resisting the onslaught.

Are we like those flowers? Selwyn Hughes wrote, “Anyone can have faith when the sun is shining and the sky is free of dark clouds, but what happens when the storms come and we are lashed by the winds of hardship and adversity?” We are bent and staggered; we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. But as Hughes’ continues, “God will not fall off His throne because your faith has been rocked.” Like the flowers, we hold on through the storm and wait for the sun to shine again. Bloom where you’re planted.


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