“The wind is tossing the lilacs.” With that opening line of her springtime poem “May,” poet Sara Teasdale captured a vision of lilac bushes waving in gusty breezes. But Teasdale was lamenting a lost love, and her poem soon turned sorrowful.
Our backyard lilacs also encountered a challenge. After having their most lush and beautiful season, they faced the axe of a hard-working lawn man who “trimmed” every bush, chopping them to stubs. I cried. Then, three years later—after barren branches, a bout of powdery mildew, and my faithless plan to dig them up—our long-suffering lilacs rebounded. They just needed time, and I simply needed to wait for what I couldn’t see.
The Bible tells of many people who waited by faith despite adversity. Noah waited for delayed rain. Caleb waited forty years to live in the promised land. Rebekah waited twenty years to conceive a child. Jacob waited seven years to marry Rachel. Simeon waited and waited to see the baby Jesus. Their patience was rewarded.
In contrast, those who look to humans “will be like a bush in the wastelands” (Jeremiah 17:6). Poet Teasdale ended her verse in such gloom. “I go a wintry way,” she concluded. But “blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,” rejoiced Jeremiah. “They will be like a tree planted by the water” (vv. 7–8).
The trusting stay planted in God—the One who walks with us through the joys and adversities of life.