Blooming Under Stress
By Elizabeth Price, CBM National intern –
In mid-September of 2018, Hurricane Florence ravaged the Carolinas, leaving disaster in its wake. Our town of Dillon, SC was greatly affected with flooding, though not as bad as some of our surrounding areas. Despite all the tragedy that has occurred, one interesting phenomena resulted from the storm; the Bradford Pear trees came back in bloom. The local meteorologist gave this explanation on his Facebook page: “…stress of any kind, such as slow-moving Florence, can trigger blooming. Apparently it’s a tree’s defensive mechanism. Basically, when they are stressed they go into protection mode and produce blooms to ensure the species carries on.”
Did you catch that? When the tree experiences stress, it blooms. I don’t know about you, but when I have stress in my life, I’m not usually pleasant to be around. The days leading up to the hurricane, I’m sorry to say, my children saw a mommy who was short-tempered and quick to lose patience with them. I was fearful and anxious about what the next few days were going to hold. Bloom, I did not. Unlike the pear trees, I was not allowing my stress to make something beautiful. James chapter 1 tells us to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV)
Too often we forget that those trials also include the day-to-day stresses of life. Even our normal stress is meant to shape us into something beautiful. But how does that happen? How do we bloom? By being surrendered to the Holy Spirit’s control. “…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) And we cannot be fully surrendered to the Spirit if we are not continually saturating ourselves with the Scriptures. The more we are filled with the Word of God, the more freedom the Holy Spirit has to work in our lives. And the more freedom we allow Him, the more our defense in life’s trials will be peace instead of anxiety and patience instead of frustration. It’s a daily battle, but it must occur so others can see the beauty of Christ in us “…and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) So, friend, are you blooming?
Elizabeth Price is a wife and mother of 2 in Dillon, SC. Elizabeth and her husband served at several CBM Camps throughout the years, as well as went through the CBM Internship.childrensbibleministries.net/internships
They now serve the Lord in their local community.
January 7, 2019 (6:22 pm)
Well said and I’ll probably have to quote some of this in my upcoming series on the problem of evil and suffering! Thanks Elizabeth and keep writing; who knows how God may desire to use you and it!
January 7, 2019 (6:57 pm)
Nice to know about the pear tree. Now to apply it to my life! Thanks for this, Elizabeth!
January 8, 2019 (4:11 am)
Beautiful and wise beyond your years.