For years after we moved into our split ranch home in the suburbs, an unassuming hydrangea bush stood almost forgotten in our front yard. The small bush only managed to only spit out a few small pale flowers each year. I’ll be honest, I never gave the bush much thought, nor did I have very high expectations after seeing its lackluster display year after year.

Then it happened.  An unexpected severe storm brought down pours, hail and damaging winds, beating the poor bush to a withered heap of torn leaves.  The force of the storm even managed to wash away some of the soil beneath the plant, leaving its roots exposed.

I trimmed the branches and poured some new soil around the roots, but I didn’t know if the little bush really had a chance.  Weeks went by after the storm.  One day I pulled in my driveway surprised to find brilliant large blooms of deep blue covering the now strong vibrant bush. The plant stood fuller, stronger, and more radiant than ever before.  Seeing the amazing blooms provided insight into the powerful results of life’s storms.

1. You’re stronger than you think.

Life can throw you everything but the kitchen sink. When you lean upon God through your trials, you can tap into His strength, His peace and His resources. You don’t have to face your troubles alone or only with your own strength. Lean upon Him and allow Him to make you stronger.  (see Philippians 4:13)

2.  Storms are temporary.

When we’re standing in the middle of a storm, it can feel like it will never end. Some storms are painfully long. But, just like the hail storm that pounded my hydrangea bush, eventually every storm comes to an end.  (see 2 Corinthians 4:17)

3.  Not everyone sees your potential.

When you are in the middle of a messy life, rest assured that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.  He knows when and how His fruit will bloom in our lives. It can be brilliantly unexpected and beyond what we or those around us ever knew was possible.  (see Jeremiah 29:11)

4.  Sometimes you need new soil.

Life’s storms can cause us to reflect upon our influences and assess what’s feeding us and how deep our roots run.  Troubles can help our roots grow stronger where we are, or God may use our trials to transplant us to where He wants us to bloom. (see Ezekiel 36:36)

5.  Beauty emerges on the other side of trials.

God is the great recycler.  He takes the broken, tattered, worn out pieces of our journeys and recycles them in to His masterpiece. He takes us from broken to restored and truly can bring beauty from ashes. (see Isaiah 61:3)