Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Parable of The Magnolia and The Monsoon

It is spring in Korea.  Flower blossoms cover the countryside, and fill every spare meter of ground not dominated by concrete.  As soon as the frost of winter is blown away by the warm winds of spring, the buds begin to bloom, cherry and pear blossoms, honeysuckles, lilacs and magnolias.  They burst upon the hillsides, bathing them in color.  They explode, making mundane orchards into tourist attractions.  They paint the perimeters of busy city blocks.  
However, not even 2 weeks after the blossoms bloom, the rains begin.  It is said that April showers bring forth May flowers.  However, in Korea, the frost of February and the mildness of March yield to the relentless spring, melting the ice away, watering the ground bringing forth the flowers.  
Then the rains come.  
Not before the flowers, but after.  
With howling, horrible winds, the rain falls hard and thick.  Comparable to the worst rain I’ve ever experienced.  Sometimes the wind is worse than the rain.  Today is one of those days.  
I stood in the stairwell, staring out the window.  The wind was blowing, the rain was falling.  The magnolias were being destroyed.  The rain, which has fallen miles before reaching the ground, has few obstacles in its way.  The soft, supple surface of a magnolia petal stands little chance against this machine gun fire.
Most petals just fall off, littering the ground, only to become a slushy pulp, a substance of disdain, something unfortunate to be avoided.  
Some hold fast, but are beaten and battered.  They hang loosely from their sepals, whithering and brown.  For all intents and purposes, they are dead.  They will fall to the ground and become fodder.  
There are a few, however, that hold fast.  It is a miracle that any survive at all.  They are strong, but not strong enough. They will eventually fall.  All blossoms do.  By what miraculous means, though, were they able to avoid the rain that felled their fellows.  It could only be by the sustaining hand of God they survive.  It is only by his grace that these flowers make it through the monsoon.
So it is with us.  Some of us never bloom.  Some of us fall in the face of winds and rain.  Some of us, though it is hard, hold fast to the tree; the life-giving tree.  It is a miracle that any of us survive at all.  Life is so difficult.  We are so weak.  The enemy is so strong.  We are bent toward evil.  God is stronger, though.  God is good.  It is through Him we are saved.  It is only by the gracious sustaining hand of God that we can make it through the monsoon.  

***I realize it's not really spring. This is a re-blog of a post I wrote over a year ago. Thank you.

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