Our sweetbaymagnolia magnolia is an amazing testament of never giving up.
It once was in our front yard. But it grew and began to extend toward the driveway. We decided to transplant it. We moved it to the side of the house.
It did not do well. It began to wither and die. We were very sad. We considered digging it back up and giving it a decent burial.
But before we could bring ourselves to do that, winter came. The pitiful little branches were weighed down by snow and then ice. We were sure it was gone then.
But when spring came, an amazing thing happened. The branches began to reach for the sky, as if they were just awakening from a long winter’s nap.
Buds began to form … and then almost overnight, the tree burst into blossoms!
When I was having eye problems in 2020, it grew some more until the branches were right outside the window. God literally brought me bouquets of flowers where I could see them.
The winds and rains have beat against it time and time again. It bends, but has not ever lost even one of its branches. While I distressed during the storm, it simply waved at me.
This year it had grown so much, its branches were beating against the window. We considered pruning it back. But again, before we got to it, the tree adjusted.
It was as if it knew what to do when it met an obstacle. It began to spread out in another direction. And it began to grow up even taller. It is now headed for the second floor.
As I was waiting for its annual flower show, I noticed it began its blooming from the top. If I had not looked down from the second story, I might have missed it.
I thought of other things I was waiting for. I had almost given up on them. God said in my spirit, “You see, they are on the way, but you have to get to the higher level of faith to see them. When you have great faith that comes from above, I will show you more.”
The flowers smell wondrously sweet. The breeze carries their fragrance everywhere. It reminds me that Jesus carried all the way to the cross the sweet smell of the oils with which the woman anointed him.
Paul said, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
2 Corinthians 2:15
I want to be like our sweetbay magnolia, always reaching up, my arms open in praise to my Creator.
I want to stand firm and adapt in all seasons.
When I encounter obstacles, I want to be adaptable enough to grow another direction.
When I don’t feel like I am going to bloom in this season, I want to remember I am already blossoming from the top. When it’s my turn, I will burst into bloom.
I want to bring bouquets to those who need comfort. I want to wave and remind them that new life comes from what was once thought to be dead.
And I want to carry the aroma of Christ into the world. I want to share the beauty … the wonder … The Glory of God, Who is in all around us.