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Flowers Die when Fruit Grows

I have a bunch of indoor plants, and with spring came a new burst of outdoor plants. They are on my front patio. One of the plants is a pepper plant. Over the last few days, I noticed a new bloom. I was so excited! This morning as I was out tending my plants, I noticed the bloom was dying, and there is another bloom! I looked at the dying flower with a little sadness, since I'd enjoyed its brief burst of color. But then I had this thought if the flower is dying - that means a habanero pepper is coming!

My short sadness turned into elation as I realized I will get some fruit for my labor. I just stood and stared at the two flowers. One brand new this morning and the other fading away. As I looked at the two blooms, I wondered how many times we grieve over things we perceive as dying - when it's something God has designed to bring fruit?

caregivers often live with lots of grief. We can sense huge losses every single day. Many of us live with what is called "living grief." This type of grief can take many forms. For some, it's grieving over a parent you see slipping away one day at a time. For others like myself, it is seeing the body of my son here, but who he was has been left in the past. Others deal with this type of grief over a child or loved one they never had the opportunity to enjoy watching the normal stages of growth with. 

It's no comfort to me to understand that the painful transitions in life are yielding fruit if I'm honest. So, I have to adjust my thinking a bit to see how God is still working His purpose in my broken life. All death doesn't mean an end. It is a new beginning. Over the next few days, I'll enjoy watching that orange pepper grow. I bet that's what God does with us, don't you?

While we are grieving our losses (and that is healthy and natural!), He's watching the fruit develop as part of the process. I know caregiving has changed me. Some good. Some bad. lol - But as a person, I've grown so much. I've learned to trust God more, to hold on to Him more tightly. I'm still learning to let His grace work in my life, let mercy help, and let His peace reign. While I like the pretty pictures in life like those habanero blooms, the fruit will sustain and nourish, a flower will not. Don't get me wrong - the flower has a purpose. We need "pretty" when life gets ugly. But fruit has a purpose too.  

Today, I will remind myself that when something dies - it's not the end. I'll turn my sense of loss into thoughts of gratitude for God's sustaining me until I can bear fruit for His kingdom. I'll be thankful for all the "pieces" of life that work together to make me whole in Him. My meditation will be on all the work He does to sustain this little plant I call life. And I'll trust Him to work in me for one more day - will you join me?

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