Monday, January 29, 2007

The Season

A little over two weeks ago my husband brought home a large clear vase full of tulip bulbs. They had grown to half the height of the vase. They use no soil. All I had to do was keep the roots covered with water. I could put them right on my desk and watch them grow—a herald for spring, which is obviously some time away.

Or so I thought.

Every day for the next fourteen days I was amazed when I entered my office. The tulip plants were growing so fast, you could practically see the things in motion. I started measuring. For those fourteen days they grew at least an inch a day. About every three days I had to put in more water.

One day 13, I was looking down into the split leaves at the top, seeing if I could see any of the pink buds. Nothing. On day 14, I spotted them. On day 15, the bulbs began to pop out. The picture was taken on day 16. I’m sure by tomorrow morning they’ll be fully opened.

Why did they grow so fast? I’ve certainly never seen tulips grow that fast outside. For the last two weeks, it’s been cold outside (cold for northern California). I’ve run the heat all day in the house—keeping it at 70 degrees. Here, sheltered and warm, in the perfect, ripe environment, the plants came into their season and grew at an incredible pace.

Psalm 1:1-3 in the BPV (Brandilyn’s Prayer Version) reads:

How blessed am I because I do not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But my delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law I meditate day and night.
And I will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields fruit in its season.
My leaves do not wither,
And in whatever I do, I will prosper.

I love that line: “Which yields fruit in its season.”

I look back at the ten years I spent working so hard to learn the craft of fiction enough to be publishable, and I can see God’s hand with me all the way. I kicked a lot of cabinets and had a lot of frustrating moments. Quit more than once. But it wasn’t my season. There was work to be done in me, as well as work to be done in my craft. And just the right publisher needed to have that just right open slot that I could fill. God orchestrated all of this to come together—and my work in fiction came into its season. And as God would have it—once that season began, I grew fast. But then, I was surrounded by His care, and He had provided the environment in which I could do so.

Now, my “yielding fruit” season won’t necessarily look like anyone else’s. God has a distinct work to do in each of us. (Here’s hoping you won’t have to wait ten years!) And even the term “yielding fruit” from our writing can mean different things.

Every day I watched those tulips grow, I thought of Psalm 1. Yes, they’ve grown fast. But think how long those bulbs had been dormant, just waiting for their right time. And these beautiful tulips will last awhile, then be done. I’ll watch the flower colors fade, the petals wither and fall. But what God chooses to do through my writing in this fruitful season will not wither.

As long as it may be in coming, God’s season is worth waiting for. And when it comes, it's amazing.


Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your post. It was a perfect way for me to start my writing week, since my cry is often, "God, please give me patience...and I want it now!"

Kristy Dykes said...

Man, you blessed me this morning, B. Ooo. I feel doodads running through me. Thanks for an anointed post.

Reminds me of the old song,
"In His time, in His time,
He makes all things beautiful,
In His time..."

Alison said...

Amen! Your post really blessed my this morning!

Have a nice day!

Suzan Robertson said...

What a wonderful post! God is truly amazing. Thanks for this.

Tami Boesiger said...

Great post. Thanks for the reminder there is a time for everything. I pray my "dormant" years are still productive, both in my personal growth and in the lives of others. I surrender to His will.

CHickey said...

Thank you for this post. I needed it today.

Christina Berry said...

I'm entering the eighth year of my growing season. There seem to be hints of a coming harvest, but I will continue to grow as quickly as I can so that my fruit will be even tastier. ;-)

Thank you for this post.

D. Gudger said...

B - so what I needed to hear. I'm really feeling the pressure from hubby & finances - "Why aren't you published yet? How come your novel isn't done? When are you going to get that deal that will help pay the bills?"

This summer you told me not to beat myself up. I have a tiny baby.

I have been kicking myself (not cabinets). People say great things about my writing, I do alot for free. This week I have come to know God is beginning the healing process in my heart so I can be free from by "bulb" like a tulip.

Yesterday I found Is 43:18 - Forget about what's happened, don't keep going over old history...I'm about to do something brand-new!... (the message)

Your post today affirms and ocnfirms. I'm writing daily, (not the novel, the little things),and I study the craft every day. My season to bloom is still in the future. God has healing to do first, then the creative juices can burst forth!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I think everyone has said some form of what I was thinking, so I'll just tell you about the bulbs!

They are 'forced'. They were subjected to an artificial winter in the refrigerator/freezer. they think it's spring, but the rub is, once they've lost their flowers...they're done...forever!
Forcing them makes them expend all the energy they have, without the ability to take more in!

I'm sure you can get another post out of that!

Heather Ivester said...

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful visual reminder of how God is working in each of our lives as writers. I think I'll remember your tulips as I continue to pray, work hard, and wait...

Susanne said...

Brandilyn, I'm a little behind in myblog reading and so didn't get to this post until today but I really think the Lord timed the reading of this perfectly for me. Thanks for a great post of encouragement!