It’s that time of year to think about planting bulbs for a beautiful winter and spring! The first thing to do is to dig up the now-dormant bulbs that need to be spread out into other areas. In the process of doing that, we often end up digging up ground covers that have also exploded in growth over the past year.
It is quite the challenge to find new places for ground covers and other spreading plants. One such plant is the lovely Sheffield mum. While it isn’t exactly a ground cover, it acts like one; spreading its stolons just under the surface of the soil to pop up as new plants further and further away from the original.
The nicest thing about this close relative of your common florist’s chrysanthemum is that it stays pretty small and wispy all summer as it weaves its way through the irises and daylilies.
Maybe it does look a little weedy for those seven months as it grows and collects food from the rich earth. But not to the knowledgeable gardener! She knows that these little nondescript stems scattered here and there among the perennials are just gathering energy to create a gorgeous display in October. They won’t even need to be cut back as other mums do.
As I dig out my daffodils to divide them, it seems that this little flowering perennial is just about everywhere. A few other ground covers are just as ubiquitous in other beds, but these chrysanthemum cousins are probably the least noticed until the bloom season starts.
Isn’t God like that? We understand his omnipresence in the fact that he is everywhere on earth and beyond, but do we really recognize his presence in every aspect of our lives? We don’t act as if we do. How much hand-wringing and worry lines could be prevented if we looked forward to his glory being revealed later?
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6, NASB).
God is truly “through all and in all” for sure. We see his workings…sometimes.
Like the humble Sheffield mum, the growth and the spread of God’s influence is not always noticed while that “behind the scenes” work is going on. Then, when all seems as ugly and barren as a tired old October garden, we see in hindsight that God has been with us and working on our issues all along. Those nondescript events happening all came together at the last for a glorious conclusion.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
Sometimes God’s workings are revealed in this life; but more often than not, we will have to just wait to find out what was really going on. We know so little. We do know that it’s all working for good to them who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
Maybe it’s time for us to rethink what we perceive as weeds in the garden of life and recognize that some of them may be the beginnings of a glorious display of God’s goodness.