During the past few weeks I could not but help notice the cherry blossoms that were in full bloom at the Portland Adventist hospital where mama was staying. Nor the trees yielding showy pink blooms along the route charmingly called Cherry Blossom Drive. Choosing this quaint direction from time to time to mix up the daily mundane freeway scenery that I viewed during each trip to the hospital. My spirit yearning for abundant splatters of joy in the midst of my grief stricken senses. Regardless, it didn’t matter how stunning those cherry blossom trees were, still my heart was painfully heavy not being able to hear my mother’s joyous comments about their frilly radiance. Never failing to do so when nature showed her spring splendor. My childhood home was a showcase of these fair trees framing our corner lot , edged with God’s breathtaking creation. Though show stopping with filigree elegance, they were hard work keeping them that way. When properly maintained, the mailman was ridiculously happy being able to drive his truck up to the mailbox with ease. Once, there was a time that my mother was extremely weary with these beastly beauties threatening to severely prune them down .Wasting no time to beg her to “save the trees” allowing for the spring time blooms to appear. Solemnly promising to help her prune them when she needed to. Thankfully she agreed to hold off her certain plans waiting to prune them after their bloom season had ended. When that day came I watched out our living room window as my selfless mother trimmed all the trees while I cozied myself our champagne velvet sofa for a nap. Looking back, not one of my prouder moments!
It’s no surprise why the book of Habakkuk resounded in my spirit as I sat reading it next to my mother’s hospital bed. “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheep less and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain! Habakkuk 3:17–19 The Message Bible
Slowly losing my precious mother to dementia and a severe infection; taking a toll on her fragile body. This being her third time in the hospital within the last five weeks lessening her ability to bounce back after each return visit. Yesterday, I watched my mom peacefully sleep while the family gathered to meet with hospice, discussing her care for the days that lay ahead. Feeling numb as my husband and I left her room;and seeing we would be greeted with blustery rain and hail if we decided to head to our car. Instead drawn to wait out the storm in the hospital chapel. A picture of Jesus painted larger then life on the wall, a box of tissues saying, “It’s my grief and I’ll cry if I want to.” Sitting on the pew, my husband’s arms and prayers consoling me. The cherry blossoms are fading, the rain and hail knocking the last bit of bloom the tree had to offer.. and God’s word rings true…
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven.”
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
Lord, help me to trust in you at all times,even if the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries refuse to ripen. When I’m frightened, heartbroken, or grieving; help me trust in you even though life does not make sense.
Counting on your rule to prevail, so I take heart and gain and strength in knowing you are good all the time.