“Oh no! I can’t do this! It’s too hard!”
The dark closed in, the warmth became suffocating, the loneliness was too much. Curled into the pocket that had been forced upon her, she shivered against the harsh conditions that had become home.
She wanted company, she wanted help. She needed strength. She had none.
“I don’t want to! Why do I have to push through?!”
The answer didn’t come. There was no answer. At least, none that she heard. None that she wanted to hear. All she could see was the bleakness around her, the stillness of midnight, the fear of solitude. She turned over. Maybe she was working in the wrong direction. Maybe the Light was behind her. But no. She twisted back to the original direction. She couldn’t see it, she wouldn’t see it, but the Light was still in front.
Hard work. Reliance on something Bigger. Faith in something not yet seen. She tried to see it, she tried to work through it, she tried to rely on It. But finding Light, growing beauty, it felt so hard.
The tears came. Some on her own cheeks, some raining from above. In the pain, in the tears, in the ache, she felt something give way . . . the shell had cracked, the pain became insurmountable, the tears flowed harder.
Confusion. Why were some of the tears coming from Above? The salt water mingled with fresh water. Maybe she wasn’t alone. Maybe. Maybe she had help, after all. Maybe.
“I can’t do it! I can’t do it alone!”
Then don’t. Don’t do it alone. Let Me help.
She gasped. That voice. Who? Where? What? She listened again.
I am here to help. So let Me.
The Voice was stronger that time, resonating, confirming, strengthening, helping.
Listening, she lifted her head. Hoping, she wiped the tears and pressed toward that glimmer of Light that she could start to see as dawn broke and winter’s rest strengthened her for the Spring to Life.
Cradled in her Maker’s hand, the strength grew and flourished and blossomed and bloomed.
In the darkness, the gloom, the pain of Winter comes the rest and strength and beauty of Spring. Sometimes that means tulips bringing their color to paint the landscape, sometimes that means turning tears into smiles and defeat into victory. But always that means God being glorified and His creation proclaiming His name.
I love tulip season for it’s promise of Spring and it’s hope of Summer. But this year the tulips are also encouraging me. They can’t bloom without the strength of their Maker. Neither can I flourish by my own strength. In my darkest night, in my sleepless anxiety, He is bigger and He is stronger and He can do more than I can ever imagine.
I have spent several sleepless nights lately, stressing over problems that are outside my control. It’s embaressing how long it takes me to realize that my stress can be lifted by His strength, that my problems can be turned into His praise, but when He speaks into the stillness of my painful night, I can know that He is bigger and I am stronger because of Him.