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Beck column: The strangled iris

I love to plant flowers and watch their seasons of growth. One of my favorites is probably iris. They usually require the least water or care. Several years ago, I ordered some really distinguished ones from California. The first year I put them in a high raised bed. I had no idea they would grow so tall that I would be unable to see the tops of the flowers from my scooter.
The following year my brother helped me fix a raised bed just one landscape timber high. I like to put newspaper in beds, wet it down, and then place the dirt and flowers in as planned. It usually takes several years before the iris will need thinning. Well, the first year after we started this bed, the flowers were simply gorgeous as they grew and started blooming.
After the blooms faded away, the plants began to turn yellow and look rather sick. I cut them off and they came back this spring and bloomed beautifully again. Then after the blooming season was over, the stalks started looking sick. The iris I had planted in other areas in my yard stayed green and healthy. I decided I would take the iris in that bed up, divide them out, put in some fresh dirt, and start over.
I think I know now what was strangling my iris. Instead of newspaper, I had put old wallpaper down and it had not disintegrated as newspaper does. The roots of the iris were just entangling themselves in each other on top of that wallpaper. They were crawling out rather than down into the soil. Well, duh! What a mistake! Than I realized I had also used some wallpaper in a place I had planted a rhododendron and it died completely. Lesson learned!
This confusion reminded me about disability and what a tangled web that one handicap can weave with another. And as the “roots” of one problem twine together with others, we begin to wither as the leaves on the iris did. So what can we do when we feel strangled by our disability? Personally, I’ve found the first thing I need to do is pray. Jesus said: “Ask and you shall receive; seek, and ye shall find.”
As I see it, one thing about prayer is that we ask for God’s will to be done in our lives. So if we can’t walk, and it is not God’s will for us to walk, what happens next? Well, sometimes we moan and groan, fuss and cuss, and turn away from God.
In the Book of Job, God gave Satan permission to test Job’s faith, and as bad as Satan made things, Job still honored God. And as a result, God restored Job’s health and a double portion of blessings.
There is a time when we must accept God’s will in our lives, or make ourselves and everyone around us miserable. A preacher said something about we need to “draw a line in the sand,” and then “refuse to cross it.” Maybe we need to “take up” our buried troubles, and start fresh, like I did with the iris. They are already showing improvement with the addition of a little bone meal and plenty of water in the beginning stage.
Are you ready to “dig” deeper in God’s Word, and separate the dead roots from the healthy tubers? And if you have never planted iris before, remember to leave the top of the tuber visible on top of the soil, than share any extras with friends. That’s kind of like leaving our Bibles open, so that we can share God’s word with others. Linda Beck lives inWoodleaf.

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