One of the things I've really enjoyed since we moved to this apartment 3 years ago is growing plants and flowers. I have two patios that are great for growing a variety of plants. Some flowers grow out in front of the patio - the ones that love the sunshine and heat of summer. Others, I put in different pots and place them decoratively around the patio. It's something I have enjoyed now for three summers. I'm already planning next year's plants!
Among the plants are some flowering varieties. I don't like a lot of flowers due to allergies, but I like a few. Some of my plants flower at different times. They are all carefully inspected each morning when I go out to water them all. But they are also watched closely all day long as I sort of patiently wait for the flowers to open over the course of the day.
I planted them.
I water them.
I fertilize them.
I move them if they need more or less direct sunshine.
As I was tending to them this morning, I had this little visual run through my head. In it, God was leaning over His plants, expectantly waiting for the beauties to bloom. Eventually, when the conditions are just right (and He sees to it that they are), flowers begin to open for all to see and enjoy. I thought of myself, this lowly little caregiver, as the tiny purple flowers on one of my plants. I've been planted by God in His truth. I've been watered by the Word. And I've been fertilized by life. :-) All of these elements come together under God's watchful care until beauty unfolds.
The world waits.
But eventually, the flowers come.
Sometimes, we don't see our circumstances as beautiful. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-days. We get carried away in the struggles of survival, and it's easy to miss the tiny, beautiful flowers that bloom. But God is the ultimate Gardener who tediously tends to His plants. We are like those plants that He carefully planted in time, right where He wanted us. The rains come. Life provides the fertilizer. It all works together to birth the beauty of the soul.
I picture God as my Gardener. I think of Him as the One who is leaning over me - the struggling little plant. He's inspecting my leaves, checking the roots, and making sure the conditions are just right so I can grow in grace. I imagine He gets as excited as I do when I see new growth or new flowers blooming out of the fertilized soils of life. I think maybe the plant doesn't even know the flowers are there, but I see them. And God sees us - His beautiful flowers.
Today, I will meditate on how God tenderly watches over us as His plantings. I'll think about how He patiently waits for the beauty that is to come and how He rejoices when He sees the grace that grows from our "well-fertilized" lives. I'll make sure to thank Him for taking the time to care for something as insignificant as a caregiver in the circle of life. My thoughts will turn toward His grace. His mercy for today. And how much He loves us - enough to wait for us to bloom! And I'll trust the Gardener for one more day. Will you join me?