“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
Leaving the United States and getting on a plane headed for the Southern Hemisphere I had imagined I was going to be Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, taking off to South American and writing a legendary novel. Of course, I was leaving my sister, not going to save her; and my Michael Douglas was expecting me, had already did his best to make the ranch house cozy for his little wife. The adventure was exciting at first—new people, new language, and new places. But then reality set in and painted the landscape gray. I saw people maybe once week and had trouble relating to all of them. My Spanish that I was so proud of turned out to be pretty embarrassing and made normal conversation difficult at best. And while we’d seen some beautiful land, I felt that I’d seen it all and now was ready to go home.
My husband was busy those days. He had land that needed extreme TLC before it could hold livestock and he was there only in the evenings and mornings, his mind always on the fences he was going to build and the cattle he was going to buy. I was desperate. We didn’t even have Internet or a phone so whining to my friends and beloved family was out of the question. Even if had been a possibility, I didn’t want them worrying. In one word…I felt abandoned. I didn’t even have the heart to pray about it.
Sunday came around and I broke out my Bible and tucked the chair next to the wood stove in my lonely weekly ritual. But I couldn’t focus on anything except the sadness and despair that filled me. Would I ever make friends? Could I actually write the novel that had wormed its way into my heart? And goodness, was I EVER going to have children? Those nasty worries had grew into terrifying fears for me.
I heard the truck pull up and put down the Bible. Strangely, my man was home early. Time to plaster on a smile and pretend I was doing just swell. He came in with a grin and said, “Hey, you want to go for a drive?”
I wanted to yell back, no. I don’t want to go for a drive. I want to crawl into a corner and mope. I want to be left alone. But I answered instead, “Sure.”
He then gathered up a couple jars and my kitchen shears and I was too annoyed to ask him why. I got in the truck and he started driving down one of the dirt roads. We came over a hill and what I saw made me gasp.
A glorious rose bush spread out like a massive hill next to the road. It looked extraordinary in the rocky, stubby countryside which was so dry that there was hardly any grass. My husband pulled over and smugly asked me if I was surprised. I was. I really was. As we gathered the roses for the jars, he told me what the neighbors had said about the bush. Apparently it had been planted about a hundred years ago at the original site for the ranch house, but when that house had been abandoned and had crumbled away to nothingness, the rosebush had thrived, alone, for over thirty years.
And then it hit me. Who cared for all those glorious golden blooms? God did. I heard again the words written in the bible almost as if Someone gently whispered them in my ears. “Consider how the wild flowers grow…not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, …how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!”
I felt shamed by my lack of gratitude for God’s gentle protection of my daily life. I felt exultant that all I needed to do was turn and ask him to care for me. If he nurtured these roses, on this nearly deserted road, in a land that was only sparsely populated…couldn’t I trust him to care for me too?
Hope bloomed within me and I felt a surge of peace blow the blues triumphantly away. It was a turning point for me—a huge one in my life that I will never forget. I hope someone somewhere sees those golden flowers and recognizes the magnificence of our Gentle Protector, our loving God.