Week 7 • Day 1 • Time to Bloom!

Subscribe to the Podcast: Apple PodcastsSpotify

Time to Bloom! 
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

What’s more beautiful than a plant, a flower, a garden, a person – in full bloom?

It’s not simply the beauty to our eye, but the beauty of what it represents. That person or thing is expressing, in their fullness, the way God created them to be. There’s a happiness, a satisfaction, a contentedness that comes with being who we are, pruned perfectly by our loving Father, and producing so much fruit people can’t help but stop and admire what they see.

But blooming doesn’t just happen on its own. If God plants a seed, it has to be covered in dirt. It’s often isolated for a prolonged amount of time. And to grow, the seed has to break open. I mean, really fall apart. It’s painful and lonely work. When the seed eventually sprouts and reaches the surface—it’s not home free. It’s then exposed to predators, storms and droughts.

And if it survives all that nonsense, it has to be pruned so far back, it’s almost as if it loses all of its progress in one fail swoop!

To bloom, we have to suffer. There’s just no way around it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like suffering that much. In fact, I’ll go through great lengths to avoid it.

But the avoidance of suffering leads to a mediocre life. We don’t take risks because we could lose, and we’re terrified of losing. Hard work with no return isn’t a pleasing proposition, so we do nothing. Or the bare minimum. Or just enough … to keep immediate suffering at bay.

(Although, most of us have a sneaking suspicion it simply prolongs greater suffering in the future.)

We’re not animals living off simple instincts. We have a spirit that knows there’s more than instinctual living. That inner knowing is why we also suffer if our life is void of purpose – or progress. Letting life pass us by while we go through the motions, leads most of us to this common observation– “There’s gotta be more to life than this!”

And there is. God intends for us to bloom!

To become who God made us to be, we often have to endure isolation, darkness and uncertainty. Then we reach a new level and have to endure predators, set on bringing us down a peg, or destroying our progress all together. Let’s not forget the unexpected storm, releasing hail on us, chipping away at our new leaves and budding new flowers.

But if we want to bloom, we have to expect it’s part of the gig.

If we spend our time avoiding the suffering that comes with growth, we miss out on all the gifts the comes with suffering. We delay what God has intended for us– the satisfaction and contentedness that comes with overcoming.

It takes a lot of suffering to bloom. That’s why it’s so beautiful, so inspiring, when we witness something bloom with our own eyes.

Suffering isn’t the end of us. It’s a beautiful, worthy part of the journey.

It’s what makes us who we are.

It’s how we bloom.