The warmer than usual winter in the Southeast has many people thinking of spring. Many of the trees are budding and blooming a bit earlier than usual, marking the roadsides with bursts of pink and white. Jonquils and daffodils have been showing off for weeks now, and lawns are growing a little more green.

I’ve been watching a small patch of tulips in my yard as they push through the mulch I piled around the cherry tree last fall. They’re all leaves and stems now, and not much to look at. But, they’re growing, taking their time, soaking up nutrients from the soil and rain from the sky, getting taller day by day.

In time I know that thinner stalks with top-heavy buds will shoot taller than the surrounding leaves, and when the time is right, they’ll burst into bloom and paint the earth with color.

The tulips can tell us something about patience and hope as we live and grow through the mulchy and sometimes gritty layers of our lives, knowing that winter will give way to spring and the persevering plants will erupt with blossoms that will bob in the breeze and shout the praise of God.

Whether we shout with color or words or kindness, may we “tiptoe through the tulips” with joy.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
        and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
    so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
        to spring up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11

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