Tag Archives: flowers

The Life of a Daffodil Bulb

I love Spring. I love watching the emergence of blossoms, of flowers, of Spring bulbs. Our first sign of Spring in our shared garden is usually the jasmine, budding even before September and touching the air with whiffs of its heady perfume. Soon sweet-peas add their fragrance with freesias and yesterday-today-tomorrow joining the scent party. My favourite spring flowers are daffodils. They have such smiling faces. It makes me happy just to look at them.

Jesus said,

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you – you of little faith!”(Luke 12:27 – 28 NIV)

I considered the life of a daffodil. It starts as a bulb, not particularly good-looking but provided by God with all it needs to become a beautiful flower. However, it takes time. At first the bulb is buried under a heavy load of soil. It is dark. It is smelly. It seems like the weight of the world is pushing down on it. It might not be the life the daffodil had planned for itself. It might even question the existence of God. Praying doesn’t seem to help. Nothing changes. Things might even get worse. Winter comes. It gets colder.

The changes, when they come, are gradual. A stretching for the sun, a tentative reaching out to the dirty soil around it. At last a tiny breakthrough. Is that sunshine on its tip? God sends the circumstances, the rain, the sunshine that grow the plant. It is all His doing. When Spring comes, the daffodil, stretched and strengthened, is ready to bloom where it was planted. Again, it is no effort or straining on the plant’s part but only the grace of God that causes the opening of a beautiful flower bringing glory to the Creator and beauty to the world.

My Prayer

Father God, sometimes I find myself in dark and unpleasant places and the burden on my shoulders seems too great for me. Please help me learn from the daffodil that You have a plan for me. It might not be quick, it might not be painless but if I merely trust you and commit myself to your circumstances I will grow into the flower You imagine, bringing glory to You and beauty to the world. Amen.

Artificial flowers

We were visiting friends yesterday and we admired pots of flowers on the coffee table.

It was only when I reached out a hand to touch a leaf that I realised that the flowers were artificial. Hypocrite flowers my friend called them. They looked just like real flowers but as soon as I interacted with them, I knew. They felt different, they had no smell and most importantly, they had no life. They couldn’t grow or enrich the world by getting rid of carbon dioxide and making oxygen. If I came to visit in a year’s time, they would be exactly the same, no change in them and no impact on the world.

In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were the epitome of religiosity. They quoted the word of God, they obeyed the law to the letter, they gave alms, they prayed. a lot. Jesus talked about hypocrites. In Matthew 6:5a He said, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.”

Our prayers to God are based on a relationship. He is our loving Father and, just as little children relate to their father, telling him about their day, their hurts, their dreams, their needs, so we can come to God and tell him all our concerns, mistakes, dreams and longings.

God sends His Spirit into our lives causing us to grow, to serve others and, most importantly, to have life so we can never be like artificial flowers, merely a semblance of the real thing.