This picture inspires me. At first glance it seems to be a simple weed budding in-between the concrete, a nuisance that should be plucked. But once you consider how much effort it took that flower to cultivate in such a peculiar place, it becomes all the more intriguing. There was just enough room in the crack of the pavement for one little blossom to bloom and when it arose, it fashioned itself into a masterpiece. It took that unsightly concrete, which would have otherwise been unworthy of a photo, and made it into an elegant beauty.
Like this flower we too can turn our horrible situations, surroundings, and circumstances into an elegant beauty. Many times we find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be. Better yet, planted in situations that we would rather not be surrounded with. For example an irate boss who just picks at you week after week, a financial problem that doesn’t seem to go away, a health issue, a friendship issue, or a family feud. Whatever it is, we need to be making elegance out of our situations and be content in the place God has positioned us. We don’t need to complain, be angry, or pout when things don’t progress as planned because when we do, we are reflecting the attitude of the Israelite’s.
When Moses was sent by God to deliver the nation of Israel from Egypt, they rejoiced and were excited because they knew their freedom was at hand. However the second they were informed that their workload doubled because Moses demanded their freedom from Pharaoh, that joy quickly faded into anger. They were infuriated because they had to build bricks without straw, yet failed to notice the fact that this was all part of God’s escape plan. As a result they threw fits and complained. But that wasn’t the only time they did it!
A few days later God, through Moses, miraculously delivers the Israelite’s out of Egypt. Yet again the people rejoice and are filled with utter ecstasy, but sadly that joy was short-lived. Once they arrived at the Red Sea and saw Pharaoh’s army marching against them, their joy quickly faded into rage and they began yelling at Moses for leading them to their death. Obviously they were not content with their situation. But as the story goes, God delivers them anyhow by doing one of the most amazing miracles in the Bible, the parting of the Red Sea and the obliteration of Pharaoh’s army. And once again, the people rejoice.
I’m getting sick just writing about the Israelite’s roller-coaster of emotions. Joy, anger, joy, rage…! But you know, the patter didn’t stop there, it went on and on. They were discontent with everything from food, to water, to being in the desert. There is even an account of them “lining up in front of Moses from morning till evening, complaining against each other.” When everything was going peachy they rejoiced, but when situations began to look their worst they wilted away. Their desire for whatever was in their best interest overruled their desire to fulfill God’s will.
Kind of like us today. My friends, a true test of character is whether we wilt in those hard times or bloom in those places that God has put us in. We need to realize that no matter our situation, we need to be content with what God has for us. Just like that flower, we need to bring beauty to uncontrollable situations.
“…Be like a tree [or flower] planted by the water [or concrete], that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes…” Jeremiah 17:7-8
We are to be like that flower, firmly planted in the place God has put us. But my question to you today is, what kind of flower are you being?
- Are you Rose? You’re attractive to look at; but if somebody handles you wrong you’ll stick them.
- Are you a Weeping Willow? You don’t really need a reason to be down and depressed, you just are.
- Are you Poison Ivy? You’re ready to lash out at anyone who comes to close and at times they don’t even have to touch you.
- Are you a Dandelion? You look good until a strong wind blows, then you can’t find any pieces because they’re scattered and all messed up.
- Are you like a Peace Lillie? Everything looks great on the outside and everybody see’s you as a peaceful person, but when you are in the quite of our own home you wilt quick.
- Are you a Nut? You have value but you’re useless until you allow God to crack the shell of our flesh.
- Or are you like the flower in the Concrete? Bringing beauty to your little piece of the world, despite your surroundings.
Will you “bloom” even when your environment looks like a ‘concrete rock’? Or will you wilt under pressure, like the Israelite’s?
Bring beauty to your little piece of the world.
Love you all!
(also blogged on www.vineoflifenews.com )