Most of America has snow on the ground. People are inside, trying to stay warm. Recently, I looked out my window at home to see a dozen tulips poking through a snow drift. I marveled at the strength and power that made those plants grow in such harsh and demanding conditions. I didn’t want to go outside because of the freezing cold, but the tulips pushed through the layers of dirt, soil, leaves, and now several inches of snow.
We forget it, but people are like those snow covered tulips. Folks can push through tremendous difficulty and hardship. We often grow during the most difficult times in life when there is an inner strength guiding us forward.
Scripture provides a picture of this in 2 Corinthians chapter 4. Paul writes to the church and says, “do not lose heart.” There is an inner strength in you that the world will not understand. While it may be confused with personal strength, it is a “treasure in jars of clay.” This extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. It gives the ability to endure, maintain, and move forward even when life gives us the worst conditions possible.
Paul also shares how resilient believers can be because of God strengthening us in times of sorrow. In verse 8 he shares that God provides so well that “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed . . . .” The Lord who helped Israel endure the desert sands will also strengthen you during the challenges of today.
God provides a covering that shelters us during the storms of life. He also allows His Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us when we only see darkness. The inner strength protects us and allows us to move upward, beyond the dirt and soil of difficulty.
Don’t lose heart. Remember what God can do with snow covered tulips. He renews their inner strength day by day, allowing momentary afflictions to prepare them for a greater reward and a new season of life.