Bloom again

It is almost time for the dance of the lovely iris blooms! Irises used to be a treat for the eyes only for the few weeks that they bloom, and then they are done for the year. This is common to many perennial plants.

Now, thanks to some innovative hybridizers, these garden favorites are available in varieties that will re-bloom later in the year.

Well, they are supposed to do that, anyway. In our small micro-climate of coldness that our yard manages to be shrouded in while the neighbor’s yard blooms a full week earlier, re-bloomers cannot be depended on for a second blaze of glory.

Two years ago, however, an exception to this cruel twist of nature occurred. We arrived home after an extended time away, and the irises were blooming in September!

The first of the serendipitous blooms was a nearly white iris called “Eternal Bliss.” The delicate fragrance was definitely blissful!

The show continued with purple irises and the pale yellow “Total Recall” irises, and finished in November by the lovely “Clarence” re-bloomer tucked behind the asters. That last one got nipped by a hard frost before it even finished opening up its buds.

This second flush of color and fragrance was an unexpected thrill, reminding us — even as the garden was ready to sleep — that there will be a springtime again. It lifted our spirits and made us smile.

Now that spring is here in earnest, our thoughts turn to the joyful knowledge of God’s renewal and redemption. Is there any more appropriate season to resolve to mirror his grace and favor by doing our best to renew our love and service to him?

Yes, we all have the chance to “bloom again.” Whether we grew lukewarm in our fervor like the Laodiceans of Revelation 3, or we just slowed down due to physical limitations, we can spring back into full bloom.

Granted, the fall blooms are not as profuse as the display the irises put on in the springtime. The energy we can put in at 80 won’t be as impressive as that of our 25-year-old counterparts. But even a card or phone call to someone in need can put out a sweet fragrance that is sure to lift someone’s spirits!

Perhaps some of us have worked so tirelessly in the kingdom of Christ that we tend to look backward at accomplishments, rather than forward to new missions.

“Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon” said the poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley. The good that we have done will truly fare better if we don’t stop doing good.

Bloom again! And after that, again! And again!

“Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit” (Psalm 51:10-12, KJV).

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