The Lilac Garden

by | Jul 13, 2023 | Joy, Relationship, Salvation

There is an attraction in Niagara Falls Canada whose huge parking area is completely empty 11 months of the year. However, this attraction bursts to life in mid spring every year, and for a few short weeks, that same parking area is full to overflowing: The Centennial Lilac Garden. And yes, you guessed it: The four weeks of the year where the parking lot is bursting out of its seams are the four weeks of the year that the lilacs are blooming!

As we visited this particular garden in May of this year, we were amazed at the beautiful and intricate blossoms. Some had four petals, but some had five. Apparently in Chinese culture finding a 5-petaled lilac is akin to finding a 4-leaf clover in European culture. As this was new information for us, we were quick to examine the delicate blooms — and soon learned that some varieties of Lilacs actually have double blooms, with four petals on the bottom and three on the top! Of course, then we had to look for ones with four petals on the top…

We were also amazed by the variety of colours. There were blooming lilacs ranging from white to pink to lilac to purple, even to dark fuchsia. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Another interesting fact we learned was that not all lilacs smell the same. There were some with hardly any odour at all, while others were incredibly pungent. From our limited experimentation, we determined that the lighter the flower in colour, the stronger its perfume.

Yet another amazing discovery was that most of the lilac bushes hosted just one bunch of flowers at a time. A few, however, had several bunches of flowers all clumped together, making them look almost solid in their appearance.

As we wandered around snapping photos, counting petals and sticking our noses down into bunches of lilacs, we were filled with joy. And we also realized that we weren’t alone in this sentiment. Occupants of the bulging parking lot’s numerous cars were all doing what we were doing:  Snapping photos, sticking noses into bunches of flowers, and I believe we even saw others counting lilac petals… There was one sentiment evident for all to see: there was joy on everyone’s faces.

Maybe it is because the blooming lilacs indicate that spring is finally here to stay. I don’t know. But after a long and cold winter, spring flowers are good news!

It all made me think: If a bunch of beautiful, fragrant, delicate flowers can bring so much joy after a long and hard winter, how much more joy is there for the sinner who is finally come home?

The Bible tells us that there is only one source for “fullness of joy”. All of the other sources bring joy, yes, but not “fullness” of joy. This can only come from the presence of God: “You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalms 16:11 NASB).

​​​​​​​Before accepting Jesus’ gift of Salvation, we are separated from God: “But your wrongdoings have caused a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 NASB). Because our sin keeps us from having access to God’s presence, we are also blocked from having access to the “fullness of joy”. Fortunately for us, God made a way: “Jesus is there. He has made a way for man to go to God. He gave His blood that men might worship God the New Way.” (Hebrews 12:24a NLV). Our long winter is past, we can be in His presence, we can have that “fullness of joy”. This is so much better than the lilacs that are only in bloom for a few short weeks out of the year, for we have this “fullness of joy” — ALL the time!

There is just one caveat. If we hadn’t ever driven down to the lilac garden in Niagara Falls, Canada, we wouldn’t have ever experienced the joy these flowers brought. In the same way, you have to come to Jesus. You have to accept His gift of Salvation to have access to His joy. You have to come into His presence to experience that joy.

What about it? Why not come to Jesus today? If you have never given your heart to Jesus, today is the day. We invite you to click here. If you have already given your heart to Jesus, then choose today to begin spending time in His presence on a regular basis! It is, after all, so much better than driving to Niagara Falls, Canada to see the lilacs!

In His love,
Rob Chaffart
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries


The Lilac Garden