To help fight the seasonal blahs which usually hit me in the sunless midwinter, I love to bring a bunch of fresh cut tulips home to brighten my kitchen table.
Last week, as i bought some lovely pink tulips, the florist passed on a wise tip which has stuck with me. She suggested adding an ice cube to the water in my vase each day, to keep the tulips at their best. When I gave her the, “Really?!” look, she smiled and nodded, then mentioned how this only works for tulips.
A good florist knows the quirks of each type of flower they work with. And as God so nudgingly pointed out to me a few moments later, the same applies with people.
When we live or work with other people, we need to know enough about them to know how we can best relate or compliment each other’s skills/talents/gifts.
A good spouse, parent, child, coworker, co-minister gets to know those with whom they are spending their time, because each of us has a quirk just like the tulips do.
We are all made one of a kind, and as a result, what might work with one family member, friend or coworker won’t with another because of their differences, even if they have many commonalities.
The hardest part becomes when someone you work with or love throws an ice cube your way.
And you aren’t a tulip…
- If that ice cube comes in a harsh word, those who feel most appreciated through kind words will curl their blooms tightly, pulling away.
- Should the ice come in refusing to block out time together, the one who connects the most through quality time will feel unloved, and begin to wither the longer they are apart.
- If the ice cube is the only touch felt by those who need caring touch to know they are loved, they feel that chill right down to their roots.
- When the ice cube is the sole thing you have received from them, and gifts make you spread your bloom towards the sun, you bend over from the weight of disappointment.
- Should that ice cube be the only gesture they have made, and loving actions is your chlorophyll, the lack of kindness will leave you dry and thirsty.
I have been learning that God is more than enough to help us cope with the icy chills which come our way whether in action or an unkind word, whether unplanned or deliberately tossed towards us.
There is nothing new under the sun, as God knows. As He knows each and every one of us intimately as our Creator, He is the best one to turn to to ask how to deal with the situation, sort our emotions out as we may need to, turn our hurts and anger over to Him, and then to respond as He leads us to.
Last week, I had a doozy of ice cubes tossed my way. Most unintentionally, a few intentionally. The resulting chill was intense, and painful.
Yet God knew they were coming my way, and prepared me with wise counsel ahead of time, so I could discern what was actually happening.
Because He did so, most people around me didn’t know there was a heaviness below the surface as I was inviting Him to warm up the chilly places within, and replace them with the warmth of His love.
Beloved, God has made a way for you too to bloom in the chill.
Draw close to the light of the Son. (John 8:12)
Let His Word feed you as you let Him lead you in the growth awaiting in this season. (Matthew 4)
Listen for His love song being sung over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Allow His love to ignite into such a fire in your heart that no matter what icy darts the enemy tries to sling your way, they will melt as you come near to Him. (Psalm 39:3, James 4:8)