Your our first glance at this picture probably made your brain go, “Waaaat?”
Well, yes, it is quite the strange photo. But it does speak a thousand words…if you are like me and see stories in everything.
Here’s what I saw: like these crazy Allium bulbs–that were in bags in a dark place–we can grow in spite of the dark times around us.
These bulbs somehow “flipped a switch” that said it was time to grow. (Don’t you just love how the Creator did that?!) And grow they did. Imagine my surprise! (And chagrin, that I had not been a good Gardener Mama and planted them in the fall.)
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr.
So here’s the thing. Even though the COVID-19 virus that is ravaging our world is causing so much fear, stress, inconvenience, loss, grief, sorrow, and uncertainty, there are incredible things happening that demonstrate how adversity creates growth.
Creativity: some amazing displays of solutions in regards to social distancing . Examples are how loved ones are seeing their family members through windows, of how schools are doing online learning for the first time, teachers creating classes for their students, businesses working from home and holding Zoom meetings. The list goes on, this just names a few.
Empathy and compassion: people are going beyond their own convenience and needs to help others. Taking supplies and food to people, giving of their own items to help someone, and making meals for children, again, just a few.
Strength: oh my goodness, can I just say that our “essential workers” are super heroes?!! But so are you! The inner strength–the reserves you didn’t know you had–that you’ve had to draw from in order to endure is amazing!
Gratitude: all over the world people are showing their gratitude for the people who are working in the trenches, for what neighbors have done for them, for the ability to obtain supplies, and many other things. A couple of the ways that many are showing their gratitude is by painting signs and putting hearts in their windows.
New self-awareness: I don’t know about you, but this whole pandemic has a tendency to bring out the uglies in me! I’m not happy about it, but it sure does put me on my knees before the One who can change me. It’s only Jesus in me that will help me change. But also, I have had time to spend in prayer and seeking Him that I haven’t had before. I am always driven by the need to “do”, but now I can just “be” without any feeling of guilt. It’s a beautiful thing and I will miss that. Maybe I can hang on to it.
Closeness to God: this whole pandemic has proven how easily things can get out of our control, and has brought a fresh realization that our only help and strength is from the Lord.
These are just briefly some of the ways I’ve observed how people are growing and rising to the occasion, doing things they never have before, looking outside of themselves, and learning to endure.
Some of us are being tested for the first time in our lives. And we don’t like it one bit, thank you very much! However, testing does produce strength. Just ask someone who has had to endure hardship.
And we do have these promises from God’s Word:
“Suffering produces endurance (fortitude, strength), and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
I pray that you will be able to grow during these dark times.
Be like Allium…GROW in the DARK!!
Love and hugs,
If you’d like to read about my own growth during hard times you can check out here and here. And to read what I wrote about strength read this.