Second Bloom by Mary Stewart

Lilacs have been one of my favorite spring flowers. I’m enjoying their beauty and fragrance especially after such a long winter. A lilac represents renewed hope for me. This is due to the unusual October second flowering of one of my bushes for the past two years. I learned that this happens when the plant is under stress. I found this explanation online, “These spring-blooming plants set their flower buds for the following year in early summer shortly after the previous spring blooms fade. Stressful conditions put the plant in a dormant-like state and when the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, some of the flower buds are triggered to bloom.”

Much like my spirituality in the past years, I have experienced fruit or flowering in stressful times just like the second blooming of the lilacs. When I was at my lowest God reminded me through the lilacs to see his beauty in dark and dry places. The fall blossoms were a visible sign of God’s faithfulness and his presence with me bringing me joy through this time.

John 15:5 reminds me of the need to stay close to God in the hard seasons of my life. Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” God is with you in whatever season you are enduring and he will give you hope. Stay close by seeking God in prayer and through reading his Word. Other ways to notice his presence are to use all of your senses to be aware of his presence. Take time to see, feel, hear, touch, taste, and smell where God is during these times and you will find him in the places you least expect.