It’s hard to believe that my yard is once again blooming with flowers and grass that is turning to a bright shade of green. The cold and bleak days of winter are far behind us, and spring is once again brightening our lives with all its color and life!

In spring, it’s as if the windows of heaven open and God smiles upon us. Everything in nature awakens and raises its head to praise him. That is, everything but my tulips!

If you have ever planted tulips, you know that they are a mystery. Those odd-looking bulbs planted in the cold, brown soil produce the most delicate of flowers. The variety of colors appears without notice and they alert us to the awakening of spring in a most beautiful way. That is, if they have the perfect circumstances — which I was told when my carefully-planted tulips failed to appear this year.  

I waited for them, I searched for them, and I prayed for them (since I had spent quite a bit of money buying them!). But to no avail, there were no tulips. So while passersby have praised my neighbor’s bold choices of color, my yard has been barren. 

But, vowing not to be outdone, I began to study the art of planting tulips. And yes, there is a wrong and a right way. I am now anxiously awaiting the shipment of bulbs, which I pre-ordered for this coming fall. I will not be the joke of the neighborhood again!

As I’ve studied the art of planting tulips, I’ve realized that they’re a lot like our lives. We want our lives to count, to bloom for Christ, yet we don’t know the first thing about producing the fruit or flowers of this walk with our God. We live in a dark and brown place in this world, and we are aware of the beautiful lives around us. Yet we struggle to make even a weed grow!

My research about tulips has taught me the following:

  • Tulips have to be chosen or selected. I have been chosen by God to be redeemed. He bought me and paid for me when Jesus died on the Cross. 
  • Tulips have to be planted at a certain time. In most climates, that time is in October or November when the ground is beginning to cool. When other plants become dormant, tulips take their own place in the hibernation of nature. In other words, they become engrained in the soil, waiting, but not struggling to break forth.

There was a perfect time or season when Christ called my name and I accepted him. We may call it different names, but it was “our season.” How many times have you heard someone say, “I was on the bottom” or “I was at my wits end” when I found Jesus? God knows the days of our lives and He calls when He sees our need.

  • Tulip bulbs are to be planted approximately four or five inches into the soil and at least six inches apart. After accepting Christ to be our Savior, there are things we must do. One of those things is to plant ourselves where we have the best opportunity to grow. I must be in this world but not of this world. That means I must surround myself with the things that will make me grow. 

As the tulip bulb waits in the soil, it is fed by the soil and all the nutrients it will need to burst forth are found there. For the Christian, being planted in Christ is the key to whatever growth will take place in our Christian walk. 

  • The wide base of the tulip bulb should always be planted facing down. What a picture of what the Christian life is all about. What a daily struggle it is to give Jesus everything. What a giving up of self, to be totally and unashamedly face down before my Lord.
  • After planting, pack the soil on top of the tulip bulbs and give them a light watering.

How many times have we seen new Christians follow the steps above to neglect the final instructions? We are to cover ourselves with the grounding of Jesus and we are to daily water our lives with His Word. For most of us, we let that bulb of new life struggle year after year and we let this life of ours thirst for more. 

Tulips are a beautiful expression of the principle of springing forward. They break through insurmountable odds to grow and bloom. Yet, like tulips, we have the potential to be strong, radiant, and fully alive if we follow the Creator’s instructions. May your life so glorify God as the tulips adorn his creation!