I’ve heard about a rose between two thorns, but have you ever heard of an “iris in the weeds.” Me neither. When I saw this lonely iris on a recent walk along the Erie Canal though, I thought to myself, “Isn’t it amazing, a plant can almost grow anywhere.” I would never choose to plant an iris in the midst of the weeds, I would not advise it to those seeking direction on their perennial garden; it is just not what we would desire or expect. The good news however is that placed in a tough place, an unexpected place, and an undesirable place the iris still grows.
Do we need to have ideal environments and places in our lives to grow? I do not think so. We may have wishes, preferences, ideal about where we want to grow, but sometimes we find ourselves at places in life that we neither desire or choose. The choice in those places is whether we choose to grow where we are or get choked out by the weeds.
Maybe this is a little bit of what Paul talks about in Romans 5:3-5:
“we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Growing, learning, getting stronger; they are all nourished by the soil we are planted in. Sometime the soil we are in is not the “Miracle Grow” packaged kind that we might all love and prefer, but there can still be nourished in the soil, underneath the weeds, and despite the fact that we might like to be growing somewhere else.