Everyone loves spring, when sprightly new flowers appear after a long dark winter. The snowdrops, daffodils and other early bloomers are usually received with much enthusiasm by everyone. This excitement about spring understandably wanes somewhat as summer progresses and autumn approaches. Then, as the end of the flower season comes, we settle in and more or less brace ourselves for winter. At least that’s how it seems to go here in Scotland.
It was late this Autumn that I was unexpectedly moved by the appearance of a late bloomer, a flower out of season. It wasn’t the most spectacular flower ever to grace the grounds. It was even somewhat shabby compared to the dazzling colours of spring flowers. Yet I loved it. That one unexpected and somewhat average-looking little flower genuinely made my day. And it caused me to think about a number of people I’ve met, who struggle with feeling that, for them, everything is too little, too late.
Many people struggle with the fact that their past wasn’t what they wanted it to be. “If only I knew back then what I know now” is a common complaint. “If only I could have walked with the Lord back then, instead of having lived in years of pain.” This struggle is, of course, quite understandable.
Thank God for the Gospel of Luke, the only account in which an exchange between Jesus and a criminal has been preserved for us. This was a man at the end of a sad life, a life wasted, we might say. Yet, in his final moments, he turned his heart to Jesus. And this man, a dying criminal, has become a comfort and inspiration for countless millions of Christians to come.
If God can do something so powerful and precious with a life which was probably broken and outside of the grace of God for 99.99 % of the time, can’t He also do something with you? You might feel like you’re blooming too late, when your best years have already been spent. But don’t be dismayed. We serve an incredible God. He’s well able to bring joy, blessing and comfort to many others as you surrender to Him, and allow Him to do His work in you, no matter how late in the day it might feel. Thank You, Lord.
Prayer: Dear Father, sometimes I feel sad about the years that I can’t get back. But I want to thank You for the time that’s yet to come, and I trust that, also, for me, the best is yet to come. Amen.