I have been writing a lot lately about fresh flowers and the growing process involved. I think I need to rename the blog The Cold Coffee & Fresh Flowers blog. I am only kidding but it seems that every year I get hung up on a particular subject. Last year, I had seasons on the brain and specifically the book of Ecclesiastes. I created my Seasons of Life Journal and still enjoy pouring my heart out on its pages.
This year, I can’t seem to shake flowers off of my mind. The growth process baffles me and I believe that we can relate to flowers as a child of God. Just as flowers need pruning, we often need pruning spiritually. Plus, we forget that we are full of thorns. Thorns that hold us back and things we deal with that, if not properly dealt with, hurt others. We prick others oftentimes because we have deeply rooted pain and scars that we haven't given over to God so that He can make something beautiful come from those scars.
When I was trimming my rose bushes, I could hear the birds chirping happily in the distance. My kids dug for rocks and played together quietly. There was a slight breeze and it was so peaceful. A stray car would drive by ever so often but other than that it was peaceful. When I took this photo, I couldn't help but feel like that rose on the bottom that is just barely blooming. That pink bloom is surrounded by a lot of dead foliage that needs a good trim with the hedge clippers. Thorns also surround the bloom but you only notice those if you scoot in real close and start prodding around.
I have found so much encouragement in getting my hands dirty in the soil and trying my hand at a flower garden.
It baffles me that a small seed turns into a flower, rose-bush, and oftentimes a large tree that stretches toward the sky.
Creation sings His praises.
Psalm 66:4 says, "All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah."
When a small seed is pushed deep into the soil, it is pushed into utter darkness. Have you ever thought about that? Obviously the seed is not a living being so it doesn't care whether or not it is in utter darkness. While planting my Marigolds and Spearmint the other afternoon, I couldn't help but think about how I often feel pressed down into the darkness. I know that God will use it to bring Himself glory and to make me more like Him but darkness still surrounds me and I feel it in my soul.
Have you found yourself feeling like a small seed that has been pushed deep into the soil and now find yourself surrounded by complete darkness?
I think we have all felt this way here lately as life has changed overnight. The truth is: Life can change overnight and sometimes we are pressed down into the soil all of a sudden and can't see around us.
When I feel this way I tend to wonder if God is trying to crush me. You feel as if you're at the end of your rope and under immense pressure. Perhaps He is not crushing us but placing us in the soil so we will bloom.
When I spend time admiring the rose bushes I realize that I am that tiny bloom that is starting to burst forth. You are the tiny bloom that is bursting open, too. We are so small in the grand scheme of things. The bush itself is larger than the single bloom that is forming and that is how I feel when I think about being a child of God. I am nothing without Christ. My best efforts are filthy rags. Without His guidance I wouldn't grow and neither would you. We are one tiny piece of God's masterpiece.
Isaiah 64:6 says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
We are small blooms that slowly blossom as God cultivates our hearts.
We won't bloom perfectly until we reach heaven but day by day under His guidance we bloom for Him.
Although the blooms are gorgeous, we must not forget about the thorns. As I snipped the dead foliage away I thought about all the pruning God has to do in my soul. I wouldn't want anyone to be me. I have a list of struggles and issues a mile long. I will readily admit this over a cup of coffee on any given day. I am not always where I should be or who I should be for Christ. I have a lot of thorns.
When we all get right down to it, we could all admit that we struggle. A lot.
The funny thing about thorns is that you don't really see them until you start poking and prodding around a rose bush. While I was trimming the bushes, I had on gloves to protect my hands from the thorns. Even with the gloves on my hands, I still felt tiny pricks from those thorns. It reminded me of the many struggles and "thorns" we have that most people don't see with the naked eye.
When you start getting close to someone and prodding around their heart, you begin to see their scars and thorns that stick out. As I mentioned before, if we don't deal with our thorns and give them over to Christ then we can hurt others that get too close to us.
Another incredible truth to consider: Jesus already wore the crown of thorns when He was crucified on the cross of Calvary. He bore our sin and shame and took it upon Himself so that we could have eternal life.
Mark 15:17 says, "And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,"
He already took care of your thorns. Now you have to open your eyes to His saving power and give those back to Him. He bore our sins and struggles and took them upon Himself.
We can't forget that he has already done this for us, friends!
There may be thorns that bother us and struggles we will always have but we can rest assured that even in the midst of our thorns, God can create a beautiful bloom that brings Himself glory.
He CAN use you to point others to Him even if you are just starting to bloom.