I was in a particularly difficult time in my life. Though I called on God, He did not seem to be listening. Or, if He was listening, He seemed to have failed to respond to my weary, weak, and broken pleas. My days were cold, dry, and barren, and truthfully, I saw little hope of change. I simply clung to the belief that God loved me, and that my Father gave good gifts to His children. Truthfully, I felt that I had asked for bread, and been given a stone, a stone too heavy to carry. I repeatedly asked God to show me that things would be better. In fact, that very morning, I had asked God for a sign that He had a loving purpose for my current struggles.
Arriving home from church, I dragged my weary body inside the door. On my window sill sat a geranium. The geranium had sadly hunkered on my window sill all throughout the long, cold winter. The geranium had looked lovely the day that I had received it. That loveliness, however, did not last long. I understood why. The geranium had been transplanted, with only tiny toes gripping the shallow soil. I planted the geranium much deeper into the soil, and thereafter, the plant remained upright, and had survived, but little more.
During the dreary winter months, I gave the plant minimum attention. Occasionally, I gave the lone, yellow stem a drink. The soil swallowed the water in one thirsty gulp, but the plant appeared unchanged. Still, I knew how lovely the geranium had been and how much lovelier it could become. So, the geranium remained, in the sun’s light, weak and wilted. Today, I stepped onto my porch, a mirrored soul of that geranium. But, something had changed. The geranium’s leaves were large, healthy, and multi-colored. How had I missed this transformation? Far from weak and dead, the plant was now a source of beauty. Blinking back tears, I realized that God had sent a sign of hope in the form of a geranium.
During the long, winter months, the geranium had been forced to deepen its roots to survive. Desperately thirsty, the plant had sucked in every semblance of nourishment. Though no evidence of growth had been evident on the surface, the plant had been building roots to sustain its strength. The geranium, now, was a strong, healthy vibrant plant, a testimony to the goodness of its creator. A creator who knew what was needed to build a strong, viable plant, and would allow nothing less. I realized that during my long, seemingly forgotten days, my own roots had been going deeper and growing stronger. During my dry season, I was led to drink thirstily from God’s life-giving Word. The Son had never failed to shine on my weakened form. I knew that when my roots were sufficient, I, too, could show forth the radiant beauty of my creator.
“For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)