Always bloom where you are planted

Published 12:46 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

A remarkable event occurs in our yard this time of year. The redbud tree, with its purple blooms, signals the arrival of spring. Tiny blossoms begin to appear on its bare branches.

Our family has always looked forward to the few weeks the beautiful redbud tree displays its flowering branches. After Easter, the small blossoms form a colorful carpet beneath the tree and green leaves will replace the flowers until fall.

To understand what makes this event remarkable, you have to know what happened to this tree 22 years ago. The day after Hurricane Opal left her mark on our county, we walked outside to find the redbud tree had been blown down into our driveway. It was one of six trees the storm snapped or uprooted.

Due to the damage, we cut through the trunk and hauled away the leafy branches. Only the stump remained, pulled to a 90-degree angle by the winds until most of the roots were exposed.

To our delight and wonder, the next year we discovered tall, wire-like branches shooting upward from the side of the lifeless-looking stump. On the branches were the tiny flowers that tell us winter is over.

Looking at the new life on the redbud tree every spring reminds me of the real message of Easter. God’s creation seems to be telling His Son’s story of death and resurrection.

Jesus once said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Ministers often refer to this scripture to comfort the family of a deceased loved one who was a Christian. Those who believe in Christ do have the promise of a reunion in heaven.

But Jesus’ words apply to every one of us today. Without a personal relationship with Jesus, you and I are dead as a result of sin; but John 3:16 and Romans 6:23 say believers will receive eternal life.

The redbud tree also reminds me of what it’s like to live a Christian life. As the Apostle Paul put it, believers should be rooted in Christ, meaning firm in their faith” (Colossians 2: 6 & 7).

You may feel like the storms of life have beaten you down. Circumstances may have seemingly uprooted your faith. No matter what has happened, look upward toward the Son. You’ll find a ray of hope that will help you bloom where you’re planted.

It might surprise you to know that Albert Einstein said the words, “Bloom where you’re planted,” to a fellow scientist who was complaining about his low pay and mediocre research assignment. To make his point, Einstein reportedly pointed to a blade of grass that had broken through a slab of concrete.

Someone once said, “An oak tree is an acorn that stood its ground.” Look up to the Son, stand tall, and bloom where you’re planted.


Jan White is an award-winning religious columnist. She can be reached at