Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. This probably goes back to the influence of my grandpa, who would point them out to me. I grew up on a farm out in the country, and my walk home from the school bus stop was half a mile down a country road, but if I dawdled long enough at the creeks along the way, my grandpa would drive by coming home from work and he’d give me a ride. In the springtime he’d point at the daffodils bursting forth from the surrounding dead grass. “C-Doyle,” he’d say, “there’s the promise of summer!”
This has always stuck with me, and when I see daffodils come up I can’t help but think about the coming summer and the promises of God’s cycles. And daffodils have a feature shared by many other spring flowers.
Most plants and trees draw energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, and water and nutrients from the ground during the spring and summer so they can produce fruits, vegetables, and seeds in the summer and fall. We see this in our gardens and orchards time and time again. Our apple trees blossom in the spring and then grow apples all summer. Even some of our earliest garden harvests, such as beans, pull energy from the sun and nutrients from the ground and air in order to make their produce.
God designed daffodils and other spring flowers in a unique way. Early spring bloomers (think about the wildflowers in a forest that bloom in the early spring) collect energy all summer and store it in a bulb. This bulb contains all the energy needed to create the flower and seeds in early spring, before other larger plants have a chance to grow up around them and block the sunlight. As summer progresses, weeds grow and trees leaf out, depriving the spring-blooming plants of most of the sunlight. But still, they get enough. Throughout the summer and fall these plants gather energy from the bits of sunlight they do get among the shade of other plants, along with nutrients from the soil and the water they need, and store them away underground in a bulb preparing to bloom again early the next spring. This is why, once the daffodils bloom, it is important not to remove the leaves on the plant. They’re performing a vital task to get ready for next spring’s bloom.
This reminds me of who we are as Christians. In this world we will experience struggles; tough experiences will try to choke our faith. We live in a fallen world and will have difficulties, but through it all, God is with us, helping us and equipping us for the next thing! Through these difficult times we should be gathering up God’s love and wisdom so that we can be the color in a gray world.
Be like a daffodil!