October Zinnias



It is early October, and I’m walking through my mini courtyard garden on a warm afternoon. Suddenly, a bright, red bloom catches my eye. A zinnia? I can hardly believe it. I had planted two packets of zinnia seeds in springtime, but as soon as the tiny leaves began to poke up from the earth, some unseen critter gobbled them up. I’d decided to try again by planting a few small plants already in bloom, but those, too, were eventually eaten.

The bright summer months passed without zinnias. And now, suddenly, a giant blossom appears in my garden!

There’s a lesson somewhere in this.

The obvious one seems to be that of sowing and reaping. Sometimes we reap the good results of seeds sown much later than we expect, even if we’ve long forgotten about them. That’s encouraging. But something’s tugging at my heart.

Is there something deeper here to be understood?

* * *

A few days later, I’m again surveying my little garden. Two more red blooms have appeared, and—wait, what’s that? A few pink zinnias on the other side of the bed! Had I even planted seeds over here?

As the weeks go by, the group of pink zinnias multiplies, rising like a line of bright fountains from the dirt. I’ve never before experienced zinnia seeds planted in spring waiting until fall to bloom.

Lord, what is the message of these October zinnias?

* * *

It is now the last day of October. I’m at church, sensing the presence of God in the corporate worship of His people. The worship leader sings of a “joyful confidence” in Christ, and I think of the fresh joy that’s filled my heart over the past few months. I remember a time long ago in my late twenties when I felt something similar, when certain aspects of my relationship with the Lord were new. He began showing me new things about Himself and about who He made me to be in Him. When I look back at that season, I always think of myself as blooming, understanding anew His love for me and finding joy in the things He called me to do at that time.

Suddenly, instantly, the image of that red zinnia flashes into my mind. And then these words:

You will bloom again.

Tears of joy fill my eyes. The Lord is speaking to a place in my life that hasn’t felt thriving for some time. He is reminding me that no matter how dormant the growth appears or how late the season seems, He is able to make a new thing spring up (Isaiah 43:19).

One Response to “ “October Zinnias”

  1. Linda Williams says:

    Moving. Thoughtful. Late blooming tugs at my
    heart too.

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