“Do you miss living in Ohio?” I often get asked.
The first words that quickly slip off of my tongue are “I MISS gardening!”
“But Florida is beautiful, why can’t you garden there?”
“It’s not the same; everything I plant dies.”
Not to brag — trying to keep in mind James 4:6 “God resisteth the proud” — my yard in Ohio won the City Beautification Award! When I think back on the missteps I made when it came to gardening after we moved to Florida, I hang my head in shame. It took me a year or two to realize that there was no need to yearn for Mother’s Day to run to the nursery, prune my perennials, spread mulch, and more. And just in case you’re wondering, “knee high by the Fourth of July” means nothing to Floridians.
I’m 140 words into this blog, and I still haven’t gotten to the meat. So, why have I spent 140 words writing about gardening in Ohio versus gardening in Florida? Because I finally found success!
I learned that if you attach an orchid to a palm tree with a stretchy mesh band, you can train the roots of the orchid to wrap around the tree, and they will eventually take hold of the trunk of the tree. The roots become so tight on the tree that the mesh brand is no longer necessary. Not only has the orchid attached itself to the tree, but it can withstand hurricane-force winds.
In 2014, after my first orchid wrapped itself so tightly to the tree, and I’d removed the mesh band, a hurricane hit.
The hurricane was so strong that a palm tree was ripped out of our yard, and another palm tree was leaning over and our fence was in shambles. During the storm, as I watched the orchid get battered back and forth in the wind and the rain, I thought for sure that it would die. After the storm, I went outside to be greeted by the orchid’s delicate purple flowers. It had hung on through the storm; the roots were still tight; the leaves were intact and the flowers were smiling at me.
Just like many, if not all of you, I have been through storms. Have I always been the orchid with tight roots? No, I was the palm tree that fell over. I’ve been the daisy that couldn’t take the heat. I’ve been the fence that crumbled.
Thank God, many storms later, I am still hanging on, but I know tomorrow may bring a new storm. Let’s tighten our roots today against the storms that may come tomorrow. With Jesus’ help, we can be rooted deeply enough to make it through the storms.
Ironically, or maybe not, the featured verse on the Bible and Book of Mormon app on the day that I am writing this is Nahum 1:7: “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust him.”
May God bless you with tight roots.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.