12" x 16" Cactus red-orange blooms
A cactus in bloom is a sign of maturity. It takes years of storing water and nutrients and drawing from intense exposure to the sun before those amber-orange sunbeam petals will emerge and take the stage. It's the gift of time, steadfastness and patience. Blooms come after staying the course.
When the summer's heat scorches Texas, I tend to complain and retreat to the shade, wishing Fall would come soon. I have that same tendency when any type of discomfort threatens. I enjoy the heat until it makes me sweat, then I want to flee to milder conditions. It's difficult to imagine any good from my prickly situation, but joy will come if I allow endurance to have its perfect work. Store up what I need, not in a fruitless panic, but steadily trusting the process of blooming in the desert. It may be a while before I see purpose in what I've stored, but joy will come. And every one of those gorgeous blooms will reflect the fruit and resilience of waiting.