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Chill Hours

If you have been following my blog this year you know that we have been refurbishing Popes Museum, the home of artist Laura Pope Forester. Many of my blogs have been about the lessons I have been taught on this journey. There was the discovery of an heirloom rose under the briar bushes and wild wisteria. This winter I found 10 (yes 10!) more of the roses crouched beneath the kudzu we removed. The following month there was the discovery of the expansive patio buried beneath load after load of dirt.

Most of these delights happened in the bloom of spring. Lovely. It was then, as it is today, a site for all the senses.

The Japanese Magnolias are magnificently hued a vibrant pink; the lingunstem permeates the air with a heady perfume; and the red and yellow finches are playing tag as they sing among the camillas.

It is another perfect day for me to learn an object lesson.

Tucked away among the nandina hedges, I found green shoots--a type of lily--peeking out of the ground. At least 50 of them are popping up willy nilly beneath the autumn-colored foliage we noticed for the first time since purchasing this historic home. Here we have our mystery.

Was I so overwhelmed with other aspects of the house that I missed them during the prior spring? While that is possible, it seems unlikely that I overlooked dozens and dozens of bulb shoots within a 10 foot space. Perhaps it was the severity of the winter we endured, with its many hours spent below freezing, that caused the lilies to pop out? Many flowering bulbs require large amounts of cold before they will push green shoots out from the cold, dark ground. Landscapers call those hours "Chill hours," and they are necessary for a plant to regulate its growth. This option seems more likely than "I missed them."

Perhaps that is your story too...Is this season one that you spend feeling mired in a chilly, dark place? Perhaps the Father knows that it is necessary for your growth.

This season, we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. While giving honor and full thanksgiving to His redemptive work on the cross, it is His power over death that causes us to worship Him as God. We know the story of Easter now, but those three days between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection were dark, cold and lonely. Yet, they are just as much a part of the story as Christmas or the Transfiguration. There were things accomplished in that time. The pieces of the story of the Son of God were being put in place while He was in the tomb experiencing "chill hours".

Sometimes, we too need chill hours for God to work His plan within us. They are not a form of punishment--they are a time for Him to put in place the pieces needed for His perfect plan. As you celebrate new life in Christ; as you see the fields turn green; as you watch the buds blossom; remember, that just a few weeks prior, we were below freezing. We were experiencing our chill hours. When your life feels that way, know that Sunday, with all its glory, is just around the corner.

(2) "...Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb (3) and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' (4) But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away..."

-Mark 16:2-4

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