The bright yellow lantana plant blossoming in the desert springtime sun was not yet parched. Had not yet felt the unyielding intensity of summer’s rays piercing its tender shoots. Next to this lantana stood a medium-sized bush covered in winter’s shriveled leaves. Though this bush looked dead, it cast a gentle shadow over the yellow pom poms, enduring the heat for this graceful plant.
This week, though, the bush was pruned back to the ground, exposing the yellow blossoms to a blast of heat from the desert sun. The flowers are shriveling from the merciless sun’s rays and the leaves are beginning to curl. Although the lantana is usually hardy and does grow in full sun, it has been protected for years. It has enjoyed the company of its surrounding landscape. How will it survive the change?
Much like this lantana plant, I have enjoyed years of springtimes of protection and joy surrounded by those I loved. Many blessings and relationships have cast their gentle shade upon me. However, on the threshold of this summer, the season has poured an intensity of struggles into my life. My blossoms are fading, not full of the vigorous joy that supplied their life. The leaves curl in on themselves to protect from the pain brought by the changing seasons. I wonder, much like the plant, how will I survive? I am not naturally hardy nor do I tolerate full sun. From where will the shade come to protect me through this blistering heat?
His answer comes:
“The Lord watches over you–the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
“The Lord will keep you from all –he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7,8 NIV
“Are you looking for shade in the midst of your struggles?