Consider the Daylily

Many years ago, I bought some daylily bulbs from a friend of a dear friend. I picked a special place in my backyard near a stone wall to plant them; and then, I waited. The first bloom was a huge celebratory moment for me (I do NOT have a green thumb in the least, so anything that grows in my yard is a minor miracle). Now, every summer I look forward to the re-birthing of these radiant flowers.

What's crazy to me is that this flower's bloom only lasts one day, hence the name day-lily. It's as if this particular plant embraces this fact however, and puts a hundred percent of its beauty into the time it has been allotted. These brick red, butter yellow, and melon orange blossoms splay themselves open unashamedly, shouting "Beautiful!" and "Majestic!" and "Glory!" in the designated place that they have been planted. Scripture uses the blossoming flower as an anology to teach us:

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever."  I Peter 1:23-25

So, when studying the temporal flower alongside the above scripture, a wise, yet convicting question can be, What am I doing with my days? Am I shouting "Beautiful", and "Majestic", and "Glory" in my designated place? 

Be challanged by the Creator of both the fleeting flower and your seeking soul. Take inHis word, the imperishable seed, and choose to hear it, and heed it. And then, without fail, you will not only be living in this world radiantly, but also at some point, leaving this world triumphantly, having impacted it for eternity. And this my friend, is a major miracle.

Teach us to number our days, that we may enter the heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Now and Then

I recently had some recurring thoughts that made me look for a post I wrote many years ago...

Every now and then, I think about the now...and then.

The other morning the thought about the present-day and the unseen-future came to mind when I stepped outside with puppy-Juliet for her "morning duty." Most of our outings together at this wee-morning hour still possess the remnant of night-time, with the black sky and the twinkling stars. However, for about three mornings in a row, our scenery was different; instead of a clear nightly
sky, Juliet and I were greeted with a dense white fog. When standing on my front porch, I couldn't see our driveway, our black fence, the surrounding trees, the cows in the field. Nothing was in view.

I think sometimes our present day, the now, is a lot like living in this kind of fog. There are so many unknowns, whether it's about our health, our finances, our direction, or our relationships. The seemingly impassable uncertainties can create a worrisome unsettling in our hearts... so many questions, so many emotions.
But as I was walking with little pup down our driveway in the midst of this penetrable thickness, I heard a whispering in my soul, "Chris, this is what it means to walk by faith not be sight" (II Cor. 5:7). The Lord's sweet reminder to my questioning heart, was that I am walking with the One who holds all the answers. And I am called to put my faith in Him, not in myself or my surroundings. Remember, He is called the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17). 

And let us also remember this truth on our walk: in the midst of all this faith-fog "now" there is the promise of crystal-clear "then"! You may never understand the goings-on of this life, but if all you do is hold onto the hope of heaven while walking through the befuddlements of earth, then God has been glorified in and through you. Someday He will set all things right, and we will then understand.

As I walked back up the driveway, God set my mind on another Word of His: 

For we know in part, and we prophecy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away... For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I have also been fully known. (I Cor. 13:9-10,12)

In light of this truth, let us each walk by faith today, remembering that God Himself is in-step with you. I pray your heart will hear Him whispering words of hope, for your "now"... and your "then."

From Manure, Comes Gold

I was having a converstaion with a young friend of mine who has been struggling emotionally, physically, and spiritually the last couple of years. He's an awesome kid, but he has just kinda gotten stuck with some "smelly stuff" that he, on his own, hasn't been able to shake from his heart and mind.

I shared a recent analogy with him that the Lord so sweetly shared with me:

We have a driveway that runs through the middle of our two fenced fields. One of the fields has cows grazing on it, the other does not. Interestingly, the field that the cows are calling home, now has a blanket of beautiful gold flowers on it, while the other field has only tall grass (eventual hay).

Now if I were a cowgirl, I could tell you in detail about this golden process: the kind of cows that are grazing, the kind of flowers that are blooming, etc; however, I'm a half-country, half-city girl, so I resorted to google. After much research, I found DairyCarrie: "Manure is smelly and kind of gross but it is also fertilizer that's full of nutrients that our soil needs. Gardeners like to fertilize their flowers and vegetables to make their plants grow larger and stronger and farmers do the same thing except our garden is a few hundred acres and we don't have to run to the garden center for bags of fertilizer. We have our own fertilizer producing machines, lounging around…" ( 5/7/13). Ahh, so there you have it, the cows' manure helps produce radiant fields of gold.

Using this image, I urged my young struggling friend to allow God to work His wonders in the midst of his mess. If He can spin manure into "gold"for the cows, just think of what He can do with the stinky stuff in the lives of the children He loves so dearly. The question I had for him, and for myself, and now for you, is, "Will you let Him do His wonderful work?" Just know this, God is ready, willing, and able; and He will do it in His time and His way. The difference between the process of nature and dealing with humans is that God allows nature to take its course; but with us, He waits on our hearts to soften towards Him before He begins His work. The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. (Is 30:18) He will never force His way on you, because that's not true love. He is however, always pursuing, and patiently waiting to bring beauty from ashes. (Is 61:3)

So the choice is there for each of us: let Him "fertilize our soul" with His truth and love, and then reap His radiant glory, or well, just continue on alone in our mess, which only exudes the stench of anger and bitterness. I urge you, let the Gardner in...

And instead of the thronbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. Is. 55:13
And instead of manure, the gold flowers will bloom… Yes, as a friend of mine reminded me this morning, God let's nothing go to waste.
Our neighbor's field. He had more manure, thus more gold.