From Annuals to Perennials
“These right here,” I said, pointing to a tray of brightly colored flowers.
“Dianthus,” replied the man working at the nursery. “What about them?” he asked.
“Are they annuals or perennials?” I responded.
“Annuals,” he said confidently. “That is if you bought them here!” he added.
“Yes, I did, but they came back again this year,” I told him. “More beautiful than ever.”
“Well, there might be a perennial Dianthus, but we don’t sell ‘em. Where do you have ‘em growing?” he quizzed me, trying to unravel the mystery.
“Near the house, next to the patio,” I answered. “And come to think of it,” I continued, “they never really died back. They stayed green all winter.”
“That’s probably it,” he concluded, feeling as if he had solved the mystery. “They no doubt received enough protection, the winter didn’t kill them.”
“Well,” I remarked as we walked away. “They are more beautiful than ever this year!”
CONSIDER that in many respects our lives are like annual flowers, aren’t they? The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “There’s a time to be born and a time to die.” A seed falls to the ground. We are born. We grow into a beautiful flower, then the season of our life comes to its end and we wither and fade and, come season’s end, we die. Isaiah wrote it this way, “All people are like grass and all their glory is like flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall.”
We all can attest to this, can’t we? We’ve seen season’s end come to our loved ones, who once were beautiful flowers. We have watched them wither and die. And the thought is always with us, someday season’s end will come to our own lives. So we sigh, “Where is our hope? Where is our comfort?” Perhaps God speaks to us through Dianthus which went against all odds and blossomed yet another season. An annual flower, which for perhaps only one additional season, became a perennial.
While in this world, this garden, we are appointed but one season to live. We are truly annuals. But, in God’s world we are perennials. God shelters and protects us from the winter season which kills the body but not the soul. The Psalmist says, “The Lord is our shade at our right hand; the sun will not harm us by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep us from all harm – he will watch over our life…both now and forevermore.”
Believing in such a God transforms us from annuals into perennials. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he die yet shall he live and whosoever believes in me shall never die.”
And so I say to my Dianthus, “Bloom on little friends. You are a beautiful daily reminder of a loving God who gives to His flowers, called His people, another season to live and to bloom with an even greater radiance.”
Rev. Wendell Mettey