At the end of winter, when so many of us become weary of winter and look forward to spring, it might seem a little early to be talking about flowers blooming. You might like to know, however, that man is not the only one of God’s creatures who would like to welcome spring a little early. There are some 2,500 species of plants that actually generate heat when they flower, and many of them are heating up beneath northern snows.
As early as February in western Pennsylvania, the skunk cabbage begins to generate enough heat to melt the ground and snow around itself so that it can begin to grow and flower. Even if the air temperature is zero degrees (F), the skunk cabbage can raise the air temperature around its flowers to 50 degrees – the temperature it needs for flowering. Plants in the same family begin heating up across the northern climates around the world.
Sometimes it seems as though the entire living world strains toward spring at this time of year. In the midst of widespread fears that the weather has somehow gotten seriously off track, spring should remind us of what the Lord promised Noah and his descendants – all of us, and all living things – “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.”