Impatient for Impatiens

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The frost last night is the last one for the year, and it should be safe to plant tender annuals now.

The thing is, when I’ve said it before — about four or five times already this spring — the weather forecast changed. Many of us had our plants frostbitten or even killed by the late spring frosts.

Last night, once again, the “Yard Boy” and I walked tray after tray of flowers and vegetables back into the shelter of the garage. Some of them are already becoming root bound from waiting so long in their small containers. The vincas are wilted, and the impatiens look a little brown around their edges.

This morning, once again, a white blanket of frost covered the entire yard. I had foolishly planted some purple impatiens in a pot with some pretty hostas. They are some of the most fragile annuals, and their limp stems and clear, wilted leaves told the sad tale of their early demise.

At every new prediction of the next frost, there is incredulity in the community. “What? Isn’t spring ever going to get here?’ We remember wistfully how we all planted tomatoes or petunias on Tax Day. Irises are supposed to be blooming profusely, according to last year’s garden records.

Many of the flowers that usually bloom this time of year are still not even budding. It really isn’t all that surprising, though. Some years we get warm weather early, some years we get repeated frosts.

As Christians, we aren’t so much surprised at the cold, but at the heat, in a sense. “What? A fiery ordeal? What’s up with that?”

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation” (1 Peter 4:12, 13, NASB).

When strange things happen to you, remember that they really aren’t all that strange. We are being tested. We are told that we will be tested. Expect it!

At least we had some warning before the frosts. Most of the plants that were shuttled in and out of the garage have made it okay thus far,

Since God warns us that we will be tested, shouldn’t we be prepared? We must protect our hearts and minds.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

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