The Blooms Will Come.

            You may be sitting here reading this, and you just want to give up.

            You may be at the end of your rope with that friend, that child, that teen in your ministry, that project, that dream. You have had enough, you are discouraged, you have given them so many chances, you see no progress, no matter how much working or praying you do - nothing seems to make a difference.

            So let me tell you the story of my jacaranda tree.

            When my family moved into our home in 1998, we planted a number of trees on Arbor Day. We made it a family event and many of our friends came to help plant with us. We planted a young jacaranda tree in the front yard - if you have never seen one, jacaranda trees are known for their magnificent lavender-colored blooms.

            Our trees were growing beautifully, but the jacaranda did not seem to want to grow.

            After a good, long time, my mom told me...there is something wrong with the jacaranda, and we have to remove it and plant a tree that will be healthy and grow.

            "We can't give up on the tree, mom. Let's give it a chance."

            So we gave the tree a chance. I watered it and put a piece of garden art by it, hoping perhaps to make it happy, but nothing changed. After a good long time of waiting for some sign of progress, my mom rightfully said again...we have to get rid of it. It had not grown an inch and we needed a good tree for the yard.

            For some reason deep down in my child-like faith, I knew this tree would grow. I said no again, that we would not give up on the tree. So I kept watering it, watching it, waiting patiently, and praying that this tree would show us some sign that it wanted to live.

            And, indeed, after what seemed like an eternity, it began to grow. It slowly but surely grew into a spectacular jacaranda, with the most beautiful lavender-colored flowers that bloom every spring.

            I remember when we realized the tree was alive and growing. It was such a proud moment for me as a young girl...I knew we had to give this tree a good, long, fighting chance to become the thing it was made to be. And we did. And it worked.

            And so I say to you today...do not give up. On that friend, that child, that teen, that project, that dream.

            Continue to water it, continue to fight for it. Give that person the time they need to decide to grow and just love them and pray for them all the while; give that project or dream or calling the time it needs to be watered and taken care of to see any beautiful blooms. Many of the best things in life take time, patience, and perseverance.

            Trust in the Lord with all your heart and pray without ceasing. He is the great gardener. The blooms will come.