We spend a lot of our time playing outside in the yard, and when I'm not playing with Nolan in the sandbox or with his golf clubs or tractors, I'm usually puttering around, tidying this and that or pulling weeds. Lately some of these jobs reminded me of parallels in other parts of life. Spiritual principles just hanging out in the yard waiting to be noticed. God`s message speaking through nature.
In my back garden (which is pretty pathetic, really), I have mainly orange lilies; a couple are wood lilies (or western red lilies, like the one on the Saskatchewan flag) and the rest Michigan lilies, which bloom seemingly upside down. I know these facts because I just looked them up, not because I planted them... I have moved them around some, but these bulbs were here when I bought the house 13 years ago.
I noticed one stalk that was bent right over and was just about to cut it off when I saw that the buds were still healthy looking. Either it was a recent injury or they were still getting what they needed through that broken stalk. I remembered, too, the verse that says "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out" (Isaiah 42:3), and I thought I would leave it alone for the time being. Sure enough:
Beautiful flowers, growing right down there on the dirt.
I think of how God doesn't throw us out when we're not perfect, doesn't see us as useless, but gives us a chance to flower and shine and bring beauty to this world in spite of our circumstances. Maybe situations beyond your control have left you broken, maybe you've made the choices that have left you bent, in the dirt, and feeling that you don't have the potential to become all that you once dreamed... either way, God can still use you to bring beauty and joy to his world. He can and wants to use you - there is hope and wonder in that.
Though the stalk on those flowers was broken, it was still able to take the nutrients to the flowers and make them bloom. Your circumstances do not need to determine your outcome. Let God work in you, and may you shine out the beauty he made you with.
This is Part One of a mini-series - Part Two and Part Three coming up later this week. Thanks for visiting!