A friend’s comment that we’ve had 70 days with a high temperature of 90 or above, confirmed what I already suspected: this summer’s been hot even by Hotlanta standards. Add in the humidity characteristic of our area and there have been days when it felt like I’d been engulfed by a damp blanket as soon as I stepped outside.
These less-than-ideal conditions haven’t kept me from my garden though. One recent day as I walked the property checking on plants and critters, my clothes soaked with perspiration from the afternoon’s exertion, I thought, “This is a happy garden.” And so it is. As I’ve alluded to before, there are certainly weeds and unsightly areas I need to attend to, but my Father has tucked all sorts of gifts and surprises onto the 1/3 acre He’s entrusted to me. A few current examples:
The passionflower vine by my mailbox has become a veritable ecosystem unto itself. It supports a burgeoning population of Gulf fritillary caterpillars while the resulting butterflies flit about, bees buzz contentedly, buried in the ornate flowers, and ants scurry tirelessly along the vine.
The heat-loving hibiscus right outside my garage greets me daily with a cheerful display of bright yellow flowers with exquisite red highlights.
The white wood asters, adopted from a friend two years ago, are blooming for the first time. Last year’s buds were nibbled before they had a chance to open, most likely by a passing deer.
The flowers on the black-eyed Susans, a dependable source of color interest in a summer garden, are starting to give way to prominent seed clusters. Attracted to this popular food source, goldfinches will often perch like dainty ornaments atop the seed-laden stalks.
The Tipularia made its typically short-lived appearance. Nevertheless, its display of the tiniest of orchids on fragile stems made it well worth searching for and savoring before it disappeared for another year.
Other illustrations abound, but this brief list is representative of the myriad garden treasures I’m thankful for. They change season to season, many returning year after year like dependable friends.
This morning the sky was a glorious clear blue. There was a gentle breeze to dispel some of the heat and coax a few leaves from their branches. Yet even on the most beautiful day, as I rejoice in the gifts I’ve discovered, I know they’re merely a glimpse of what awaits when all things are made new. My finite mind can’t comprehend the splendor in store, but my heart rejoices in the assurance God will dwell among his people forevermore, our eternal source of light and life. Until then, may we take time to notice and appreciate the reminders of his love all around us. And let us say with the Apostle John, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
 Revelation 22:5
 Revelation 22:20b