Tonight begins actual winter, though its plunging cold nights, frosts, and snow flurries have heralded the season here and there for weeks. And despite the calendar and the solstice, a few flowers may be lingering in your garden??? Whisper roses often linger in winter light in our yard, inspiring the “Winter” devotion in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible. Enjoy the excerpt today, from Seasons in the Garden Stories section; enjoy the blessing of God’s peace.
I have decided to winter there.
Titus 3:12 NIV
Read: Titus 3:12
Thicken the Plot: 1 Kings 19:12; Psalm 107:29; Philippians 4:5
Winter slows the pace of the gardener and gives us time to reflect on all we have experienced in the mad dash from spring to fall. We spend wintertime among family and friends, as Paul decided to stay with his friends (Titus 3:12), and do our best to come
together for the holidays. Yet there are many still and quiet moments to be had, a “time of year to appreciate” singular beauties, seeing God draw near in the clear winter light.
This is the time of year to appreciate the beauty of a single plant or flower. Any flower that blooms in winter is a rarity, and will merit closer inspection than it would later in the year, when abundance rules. The best winter light is clear, bringing cut-glass definition to stems and leaves . . . This clarity has the effect of focusing the eye on simple features.
— Mary Keen, Gardening with Color, 1991
One gardener told this story:
A chilly morning run brought me to a sheltered place of prayer, a small overlook opening onto a frost-covered golf course. After pounding the pavement with my troubles, my exhaustion in this frequented spot brought me to be still (Psalm 46:10). There, I noticed God’s quietness, his holiness. Not in an exciting or goosebumpy way, but as a gentleness that surrounded me and seemed to fill the air. In the aloneness I was not alone; the emptiness was full of the Lord. The quietness rejoiced and the winter morning glowed with his presence. How else can I express it? Is this what is meant by his Word, “The Lord is near”? (Psalm 145:18, Philippians 4:5). O Lord, help me remain aware of you.
Giddy yet speechlessly wondering, stilled yet ready to move, I walked silently back home and through the front yard. The annuals were frozen and shriveled, the perennials bowed over in retreat, the trees bare-branched, letting in muted sunlight that barely warmed. Yet treasures remained in this winter garden; even in the cold temperature of this December day, a few roses were still blooming. I spied a huge, frilly ‘Peace’ blossom! Urgent business waited at my desk, phone and inbox, but I stole just a moment more to fetch the pruners and bring these last beauties inside. The Lord had whispered peace to me, his touch of promise in a pale winter morning, his affection in a white flower delivery out of season.
Prayer: O Lord, thank you for your gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12) and the reminder in this moment of the simple truth that you [still] storms (Psalm 107:29; Mark 4:39).
Photo Credit: © 2015 Shelley S. Cramm God’s Word for Gardeners “Winter” devotion with the last, lingering ‘Whisper’ rose, a garden reminder of the Lord’s peace.
Merry Christmas, Shelley! I will see some of my family at church tomorrow evening and afterwards at my home…Christmas day will be just me and hubby…we are celebrating the day after when my granddaughter from Chicago can be with us…..so, my husband and I, with this unusually warm weather we are having, will go on a Christmas day hike… I wonder if I will see anything blooming still in the woods? These whisper roses in your garden are beautiful! I have to find some for my garden! Peace to you and yours and may the Lord’s blessing be upon you on Christmas day…and, always!
O Deborah, so good to hear from you! Your Christmas Day plans sound perfectly peaceful…there is a wonderful old poem with final lines, “O forest, lead me back to God.” May you and your husband be blessed in your hiking and enjoy the weekend with your granddaughter!