Most of us, especially those living in a country with four seasons, know that tulips bloom in spring.
They are the most anticipated spring flowers because of their magnificence and colour variety.
However, around late May, when the winter season started in New Zealand, we discovered a lone tulip bulb, breaking ground and springing forth.
We thought the frosty mornings would damage its leaves and the sun wilting them. We thought the tulip would eventually die.
With almost all of the garden plants, veggies and flowers gone and the days getting colder and colder, gardening season is over.
More than two weeks of rainy and cold weather in June made us stay mostly inside. Then one morning, we were surprised to see the lone tulip blooming.
A beautiful bloom came out despite the surrounding winter’s death.
No amount of frost nor chilly morning dew can prevent our resilient tulip from blooming.
From this resilient tulip, I can see my mum, who continues to bloom by the grace and mercy of the Lord.
Our mum is a pastor and retired teacher. In her prime, she had planted and pastored churches. She was a pastor for youth and women.
She taught Kindergarten and Grade 1 for almost 20 years while assisting my dad in his pastoral work.
Towards the end of May, my mum, who’s in her late 80s, became very ill.
We thought she wouldn’t make it to her 90th birthday last 21st June. She was too weak to get up.
It is such a blessing for Nanay (mum) to be under my sister-in-law’s care and older brother’s care. She gets the best care ever.
We requested some family and friends to pray. Our church intercessors prayed fervently.
We prayed, sang songs, meditated, and committed to the Lord’s will.
She sat up a few days before her birthday and asked for water. She gradually recovered and was able to celebrate her birthday.
She is our resilient tulip. The Lord God has allowed her to live through despite the challenges that her age and the pandemic bring.
2 Corinthians 4:16 reminds us:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly, we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day.
I am he, and I am he who will sustain you even to your old age and grey hairs. I have made you, and I carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you.Isaiah 46:4
Friends, as we go through the many trials in our lives and the challenges of the pandemic, may this resilient tulip reminds us of the abounding grace we have in Jesus.
If the Lord God has made this tulip bloom, He can make us survive and grow. You’ll soon be breaking ground and blooming in His time.
Our dearest tulip withered to bloom for eternity
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
On the early morning of 9th August 2022, a year after I wrote the reflections above, our dearest tulip, our Nanay (mum), Nenita Bais Castillon, passed on.
We are all saddened by her death, but we also rejoice and celebrate her life here and in eternity.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
She is our resilient “tulip” who weathered all of earth’s seasons and is now blooming forever with God.
It’s almost the end of August, and spring is fast approaching.
I can see some tulip bulbs have sprung forth. The season looks promising for the tulips.
Despite our dear mother “tulip” gone, hope springs forth always. I thought I would be one resilient tulip blooming through life’s seasons like our mum.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” —2 Thessalonians 3:16