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Bloom Again
Photo: Studiomill
Isn’t the scent of a gardenia just about the best thing in the world? Several years ago my husband bought me a gardenia plant for my birthday. We found a good spot for it in a planting bed along our driveway. For about two years I left the gardenia in the same place until it became necessary to transplant it when we needed to remove a large nearby tree.

I never realized how the bush struggled until it was transplanted to a different bed near our front door. Wow! The plant found new life, producing more growth and many more blooms than it ever had in the original setting. Last spring the gardenia plant went all out, putting off blooms that counted in the hundreds. What a sight! The biggest surprise, though, were the continuing blooms the plant gave. After its primary blossoming period ended, it produced random blooms throughout the summer, then delighted us with another blooming period in the fall.

You’ve heard the saying, “Bloom where you are planted.” Sometimes our ability to bloom is compromised by circumstances in our environment, but I am always amazed when I see people bloom in spite of difficulties.

One of the challenges we all face is the decline of our physical and mental abilities as we age. And yet there are many elderly who find new ways to bloom in their later years. Like my gardenia with its fall bloom, these elders contribute to life and community in the autumn of their lives, allowing God to use them, challenges and all.

Wonderful Example

For example, my 83-year-old friend, Betty, writes and inspires others in the craft. She composes poetry and writes news pieces, still earning an income from her free-lance work. My dad, a retired educator, went back to school and earned his real estate license at the age of 79 and still loves helping people find homes at the age of 88. Wanting to resurrect her musical skills, my grandmother took piano lessons in her 80’s and enjoyed playing the piano during her later years of life. You, no doubt, know of other examples of older people, blooming for God in many spheres of life. What a wonderful example to those of us who follow in their footsteps!

Psalm 92:12-15 describes righteous people, who flourish and grow, even into the twilight of their lives. “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock’…” Their relationship with God keeps them connected to the true Source of life, allowing them to continue producing fruit as they age. Their hope in God keeps them optimistic and buoyant, even while facing the challenges of aging.

Like my gardenia bush, the righteous will “flourish” if they are “planted in the house of the Lord” (Psalm 92:12-13). We will bloom again and again, as we live connected to the Lord, our Rock.

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By Nancy Gerard. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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