Walking through my yard recently, I was surprised to see what looked like a flower bud shooting up from my aloe vera plant. I had grown aloe indoors and out many times and had never seen one produce a flower.
I did a little research and learned that aloe does indeed bloom, and the flowers can be either yellow or a reddish-orange, depending on species. I also learned the reason why, after decades of nurturing aloe plants, I never knew they made flowers. Aloe plants do not bloom until they are fully mature, a process which takes approximately four years. (Guess how old my current aloe plant is.) In the past, due to my lack of green thumb, multiple relocations, or just plain neglect, I never had a single plant long enough to see it to full maturity. But I’ve had this plant since we first arrived in Congo. I’ve nurtured it and even dug it up and transplanted it when we were forced to move to another house two years ago. As a result, it had a chance to mature and reach its full, beautiful potential.
That made me think about how long God has been working on me, and still is. He nurtured and sustained me through all our preparations for coming to Congo, through the transition to life in a place where everything was different and nothing made sense, and through the ups and downs of the last four years. I am not yet a finished product. Neither I nor those around me can see now what the end result in my life will look like. God promises that the work He began in me is good, and that He will be faithful to complete it. No matter how long it takes, the finished product will be something beautiful!