By special request

Often the flowers that bring the most joy are also the most common. Daisies, zinnias, and marigolds are some of my personal favorites. And what is autumn without chrysanthemums?

Once in a while, I like to add something really different to the garden. REALLY different. The kind of “different” that requires some intensive shopping.

At this time of year, a gardener’s thoughts turn to spring bulbs. There are a few special bulbs I wouldn’t mind having, but they won’t be found in the local stores. Muscari Comosum Plumosum is one of them. This is a grape hyacinth that looks like it exploded. My husband calls these “mole food.”

Actually, it’s not the moles, but the voles that use the mole tunnels that are the likely consumers of most of my bulbs, but the point is valid. If this muscari didn’t make it in the back yard three years ago, they won’t survive past next year, either. It might not be worth the cost to buy them. Then there are the shipping costs, because only a few places carry them.

Another plant that is on my wish list is eryngium, also called Sea Holly. It’s a native of coastal Europe, but I couldn’t seem to persuade my eryngium to live in Tennessee. It won’t be easy to find another one to replace the one that died, pining for the sea breezes and sandy soil it prefers to the heavy clay I planted it in.

Some nurseries will accommodate a request by putting in a special order for a particular plant or flower bulb. Other times, it is necessary to find it online and order it. Then all that is left for the gardener to do is to worry about how well it handles the shipping, and if it’s the plant that she wanted, and whether it will grow in her garden — well, no one said special orders were worry-free!

It’s a comfort to know that in spiritual matters, we have a great “special order” department. Nothing is guaranteed to be “in stock,” or that it will be “shipped” immediately, or even at all. But the great thing about it is that the one supplying these requests knows exactly what we need, and cares about our special requests.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, NASB).

We won’t have to worry if we have requested something that won’t work out in our lives, like the little edelweiss that our son tried to grow in Pennsylvania. God will give us what we ask, if we ask according to his will (Matthew 6:10, 1 John 5:14). If it is not, he will protect us from our foolish requests.

One thing we can be certain about; God wants to give us what we request and what we need.

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:8-13).

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