It’s as if a painter has accidentally knocked over a huge tin of bright yellow paint, and puddles and splashes of it have ended up over the whole city…
Lizzie, Katie and I went for a walk along the trail beside our ‘river’ on Sunday afternoon. For most of the year there is no water at all visible in the little creek that runs through the middle of the city. The river bed, and the fields around it are dry and bare with only the dull green of eucalyptus and occasional olive trees to break up the grey of rocks and dust.
But this winter, rain has fallen. Days and days of it. And melting snow from the mountains has swelled the dried-up river from a tiny trickle to a babbling brook.
The biggest change though, happens just as the rain has slowed and the sun has reappeared – a burst of yellow wildflowers.
If you look closely it seems there is more than one kind of flower in the sea of yellow that has flooded the river banks and fields all over the city, but there they are, all gathered together, dancing in the spring breeze and refusing to be ignored.
It reminds me very much of this from the Song of Solomon:
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”
Songs 2:11-13 NIV
Spring is coming, winter is past, but never forget that the flowers are there because of the rain.
I love the beauty of the yellow flowers at this time of year. I love that they spring up in unexpected places, nodding gently in the gaps in the garage forecourt, partying wildly in newly-green fields, rioting across patches of wasteland and defiantly leaning out from behind dustbins and lamp posts.
But those flowers that make my heart sing come as a direct result of something I don’t like nearly so much – the continuous rain and cloud of winter.
I’m fairly sure that I’m walking into a springtime kind of a season just now…
For those of you who don’t see the flowers yet, for those of you who are still living in a season of cloudy skies, rain or storms, hear this:
The flowers are coming.
The seeds are deep in the ground but soaking up the rain and the day is coming when the warmth of the presence of God will call them to burst out in your life.
My great friend Ute, is forever singing this line of a song at me… ‘what if your blessings come through raindrops?’
I don’t always have the courage to look at the raindrops in my life and hunt for the blessing, I don’t always have the ability to see it coming… But I do know that eventually the day comes when Jesus calls out to me and to you:
“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.… Flowers appear on the earth”