Finding Hope in Hot Pink

With half of the nation imprisoned beneath a layer of snow and ice, I feel guilty reporting about what I found in my yard this week—a dozen camellia blossoms—already opened and blooming hot pink in the winter sun.

I say winter because we’re still in February, which is amazing, considering past seasons in Oregon this time of year would be drenched in a deluge and the flowers ruined.

The unseasonable temperatures are a delightful reprieve and the early flowers a wonder. Scores of daffodils bloom around the yard, the crocus have come and gone, and now with the onset of the camellia, I’m thinking of summer.

Summer? That won’t happen until June—four months hence.

 I remind myself that this time last year, we were the ones stuck under a layer of severe weather. Our trees, coated with ice, were snapping off, our power was out, and our streets were too slick to be safe. I remember my neighbor warming his 4-wheel drive to take us all out to a nearby restaurant so we could enjoy a hot meal. We slipped and slid in snow rutted by earlier travelers, the ice spraying from the tires. We ate in watchful haste, the restaurant’s lights flickering, their electricity threatening to fold at any minute. Once back home, I remember watching a movie on my laptop because its battery provided the only power source in the house, and that for only two hours.

In Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV) I find great comfort in what Solomon has written: “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.” God must have known we would try to manage things on our own, so keeping us guessing about what’s ahead makes us more dependent upon him.

Last year, I would never have imagined that I’d be capturing pictures of camellias this February instead of broken trees and downed power lines. But God knew. I believe he sent the flowers early this year to remind me just who is in charge of the universe. Knowing this, I have hope—and so should  you. Be warm, wherever you are.

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