I just went outside and covered my newest hydrangea bush with a large, upside planter. It is supposed to frost tonight and be a bit colder again. I don’t want the blooms, which set early on this variety, to freeze. They are not out of danger yet.
The older, larger bushes of hydrangeas we have will just have to tough it out – they are too big to cover effectively. They are also mature and have weathered colder winters than this one. They are weather hardened.
When our children were young, we felt it was our job as parents to protect our children from harmful influences. We limited and censored TV watching, evaluated the books they checked out from the library for age appropriateness, and monitored who they played with.
As our children got older and hopefully matured, we allowed them more freedom to choose what they watched, read, and who they spent time with. Sometimes they made good choices, sometimes they didn’t. Yet each decision was an opportunity to grow and learn. They became “hardened” by the consequences of those decisions.
As a gardener, I have planted new annuals when I thought all threat of frost was past.
Sometimes they were “not out of danger” and I had to try to cover and protect them, even though I thought they were safe when I planted them.
Sometimes we do this spiritually. We think we have won enough battles, overcome a particular sin and we can sit back and “just live”.
I can remember thinking, “If we can just get our children through high school….” Ha! how wrong I was!
Paul warns against this dangerous attitude. In I Corinthians 10: 12-13 he says –
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
We must always be on guard in our hearts and minds and recognize that we are “not out of danger yet.” Someday we will be, when we meet Jesus face to face.
Until then we must be vigilant and on guard.
In My Garden with God #17