I am delighted to welcome Cecille Valoria teaching us lessons from the Hydrangeas in her garden. I encourage you to take to heart and put into practice the three things we need to do to give us peace when we are in trouble and facing the heat.
Brutal triple-digit temperatures predominated last week’s weather. This caused us to crank up our air conditioner. It gave us the temporary relief we needed, but for my hydrangeas, it was bad! The problem was I did not do my routine with them that morning. Every morning before the summer sun’s scorching heat, I shower my hydrangeas with water and soak the soil.
Hydrangeas are especially sensitive to the amount of water they get and keep. True to form, the name hydrangea comes from the Ancient Greek word hydor which means “water” and aggeion meaning “vessel or receptacle.” So, the watering gets adjusted as seasons change. When the sun is in full force, I water more and, in the winter, I scale down on the watering.
When I got back to the house later that day, to my dismay I found all the huge, beautiful white hydrangea blooms wilted and scorched, except for two.
What happened to my hydrangea flowers is an excellent picture of our lives. Before Jesus left, He said to His disciples, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
Indeed, like hydrangeas, we will have trouble here on earth. Heat will come. There will be testing. But we can rest in Jesus’ assurance of peace and that He has overcome the world.
As I stared at my hydrangeas, I learned lessons from them we could easily apply to our lives.
Trust in the Lord and Dwell in His Shelter
When planting hydrangeas, one thing you must consider is the location of where you plant them. The best place is in a sheltered location with sunny mornings and shady afternoons. The two hydrangea blooms that were not affected by the heat were in the shade.
Like hydrangeas, we must position ourselves where we can be protected from the flaming darts of the enemy. We do this by putting on our shield of faith in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:16). He is One who fights the evil one.
Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
One translation for the word dwell in the Old Testament is yashabh meaning “to sit down, abide, or inhabit.” This reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus and His disciples were in Martha’s house. While Martha was busy preparing, Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what Jesus said. Dwelling in His shelter is spending time with Him, perusing His Word, and listening to Him. Like the hydrangeas that did not get destroyed by the heat because they were shaded, being in the shadow of the Almighty will also protect us.
My sleep sometimes gets interrupted around 2 am. Instead of forcing myself back to sleep, I pray. In moments like this, I’ve learned that praying Scripture helps. When Satan tried to tempt Jesus, Jesus repeated and spoke His Father’s Words. There is power in claiming God’s Words. His Words are like water to our souls. As I needed to shower my hydrangeas with water and soak their soil, we too need to be soaked in His Word and showered with prayer.
I love praying Psalm 121. Knowing He watches over me day and night brings me peace.
My friends, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to give you God’s Words to claim and pray.
- We must dwell in God’s shelter.
- Be soaked in the His Word.
- Showered with prayer.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
Cecille Valoria is an author, speaker, blogger, and retired elementary school teacher. When not writing or taking care of her 95-year-old dad, you will find her tinkering in the garden, baking, flower arranging, or on day trips with her husband. Her first book, Slaying Your Fear Giants, Moving from a Jungle of Terror to a Garden of Peace chronicles God’s faithfulness and healing as she journeyed through anxiety since she was a child. Currently, she is working on a children’s lyrical picture book on stage fright/performance anxiety. She started her nonprofit, Flowers for Elders in 2016 to deliver flower arrangements to patients in convalescent hospitals. She is mom to an adult son, daughter, and son-in-law. You can connect with her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, cecillevaloria.com, IG: @valoriacecille, FB: @slayingyourfeargiants