Last weekend, I took a little break to do some traveling with dear friends. My companions were ladies of great faith and full of fun, ladies I am blessed to call my friends. We share a the common bond of widowhood, and they are each an inspiration and blessing in my life. It was not by accident that we have found each other, but that is a story for another day.
On this day, we are visiting some historic Arizona homes and some pre-historic Arizona forests (otherwise known as petrified). The perseverance of both pioneers and tall trees is amazing. I am awed and inspired thinking of the faith and fortitude of those who’ve gone before, and realize that even hard times make for beautiful people and crystal forests.
As we trekked about the northern reaches of our state, I spotted this large rock, nearly as tall as I am, in the middle of a carefully manicured lawn. The beautiful home behind it was surrounded by huge elegant hydrangeas. But for the plaque mounted upon it, this large black rock seemed out of place. And the greenery that adorned it seemed even more out of place: a lowly dandelion!
“Weeds grow anywhere!” I thought. (True, isn’t it? I’m always pulling weeds!) Then I thought of toddler hands, gathering yellow flowered dandy-lion bouquets as gifts. I looked again at this stately, fluffy headed ‘flower’, the fluff of many a child’s wishes. The rock soil of this little dandelion was strong enough to provide all that was needed for its growth and this little flower is about to explode! What can I learn from dandelions that grow in tough spots? Keep the Faith! Keep growing!
“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”(Ether 12:4)
And now, as I look over the pictures from our trip, I am reminded of dandelions and pioneers and widow ladies, all of whom have mounted rocky climes in life and bloomed beautifully!
"You have nothing to fear from the journey,
Though your way may be burdened by thorns.
For the Lord will be with you each step of the way
As you travel with faith through the storm.
And you've nothing to fear from your trials,
Though they may seem too heavy to bear.
Take His hand and He'll lead you gently along
And you'll find peace and safety there.
There is nothing to fear from the nights that are lonely,
There's nothing to fear from the cold!
and there's nothing to fear from what might be tomorrow,
For heaven is with you, And angels watch over His fold."
(You Have Nothing to Fear by Rob Gardner)