I so love to wait for a flower to open up. At first there is only a small indication of a flower forming. There is the anticipation of seeing how it will grow and develop through each stage until it is in full bloom. I have been watching an orchid now for the last two months, waiting… will it be a red one or a white one?
Early in March, I noticed a stem between the many leaves. On closer inspection, I saw a second, and then, a third. The way they were hidden among the leaves meant all three were not visible in a single picture. Hidden. For protection, while they were still tender. It is like that for us humans as well. The first sign of growth in our lives is tender, in need of protection. It is tentative, in need of encouragement.
Growth is a process. Slowly the stems grow taller. The flower buds are still huddling closely together, covered by a membrane. Protection in numbers perhaps. As humans we also huddle together, looking for and relying on the support of others.
A few more weeks passed and the buds broke through the membrane and started separating, each on its own little branch. They were becoming stronger and the stem was strong enough to carry their weight. They were individualising. The flowers needed distance from each other to truly display their individual beauty. Our growth process is like that too – we need to grow stronger over time to be able to carry the fruit God is growing in our lives. That takes effort, pushing through and persevering.
And then a disappointing discovery. The one stem got damaged and five of the buds are not going to open up. What happened? I check the other stems, they still look healthy. It could not be a disease. Did I bump it as I walked past perhaps? Did I over water it? No idea. It looks as if some of the damaged buds were rotting. I had to cut off the stem below the withering buds in the hope to save the other two. In much the same way we also suffer disappointments in life. To grow and reach our full potential, we need to overcome those challenges and the adversity life throws our way. We need to adapt and find different solutions to keep growing and moving forward. Sometimes adapting means cutting to remove the ‘rot’ that is threatening the rest of our fruit.
There is still hope. Two stems remain with all their buds. The pruning on the first stem seemed to have worked. There is still life, even if not all the buds will develop to full maturity.
In life, if we keep our eyes fixed on the vision despite challenges, we can also overcome! I am still looking forward to the flowers opening up. I think this is the white orchid bush.
As for the red orchid bush, it seems it will be a while before I will enjoy its flowers. I thought it was dead but it does seem re-potting it worked… a tiny new plant has sprouted out of the side.
There are seasons where we also need re-planting to a new environment to stimulate growth. I am personally in one of those seasons currently.
In the end, life will always overcome death!