Sunday, April 8, 2012

Consider the Lilies (and Other Flowers)

Here in the South, Spring came early this year--and, as always, we were glad to see it.

As I write this, it's early April. Yet, so many of the spring blooms have already put on their annual display of splendor and each now lies in various stages of decay at the base of the bush or tree that they adorned.

Since I still yearn for Spring's beauty, I purchased a small container of potted tulips and placed it in a sunny spot on the screened-in porch so that I could enjoy the lovely blooms. One day when they were especially beautiful, I set aside my many chores and went to the porch to photograph them so that I'd have a lasting remembrance of their beauty. In addition to my camera, I brought along a vase that contained a large stem so heavily laden with amaryllis blooms that it had broken off from the main plant. (My husband had spotted it in the yard and brought it into the house, knowing I'd be thrilled to photograph the blooms, as well as enjoy them as they sat on a counter top in the kitchen.)

The minutes flew by as I took close-up photos of the blooms. I was in awe over the intricate details the Creator has placed in each one, even though they would only bloom for a short time and then fall off. As I took photo after photo, I began to think about these words of Jesus that are recorded in the sixth chapter of Matthew, verses 25-33, New Living Translation):

"So I tell you, don't worry about your everyday life--whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.

"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet [King] Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?"

We should believe Him, shouldn't we? After all, as He said to those gathered around Him (and to you and me, as well), "Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."

Wow! How different our lives would be if we, like the flowers, simply relied on God to meet our needs. We could stop worrying, stop trying to “make things happen,” stop obsessing over “stuff,” and stop being overly concerned with “tomorrow.” If we doubt that God will supply all that we need, we should find assurance as we look at the birds, lilies, tulips, amaryllis blooms—and all of nature.