I cannot quarrel with those who praise the beauty of the bloom of the hydrangea, the lily, the rose or the crepe myrtle. Nor can I dispute against those who laud the flowering of the Rose of Sharon, the magnolia, or the tulip poplar. I would not even attempt to refute those who praise the bloom of tulip, iris, daffodil, or a thousand other flowers.
But for my own perspective, I will say that the bloom of the strawberry, blackberry and raspberry carry greater anticipation. The blossoming apple, pear and peach instigate even more admiration. Even the bloom of the black-eyed pea and the lowly pole bean, though not nearly as lovely as those mentioned above, cultivate an even deeper appreciation.
The reason is about as simple as it is selfish: the bloom of berry, fruit and vegetable not only offer beauty, but also the promise of fruit. How can I not yield greater admiration for the fragrant offering that not only delights the eye but also brings forth food in its own due season?
Even so, our faith was never intended to be just a garden show, a bouquet cut to sit and wither on a countertop or table.
True faith, demonstrated in true obedience, blooms forth into love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Such fruit as this blesses the bearer and those who taste its goodness. And though these things also have a special fragrance and an appealing beauty, none were intended as ornament alone. We are not flowers in God’s garden; we are branches in his vineyard.