How wildflowers teach us three spiritual lessons in the darkness of winter
Several inches of new snow has fallen overnight. I look out the window and see our lamp on the front lawn stick its head out of our rose bush to give light. This is the scene that the most hearty of Christmas enthusiasts long for. I’m one of those strange men that enjoy shoveling snow when its fresh on the driveway and sidewalk. No footprints. No traffic in the early morning darkness. Just the muffled silence.
With warm breath steaming out of mouth in the frigid air, I’m reminded of the season. The barren trees. The empty garden. Nothing. Now is not the time to plant seeds. It’s a season of waiting.
Under the harshest of winters when there is no chance of growth, we trust that growth will come. In that wintry season of life when any growth is deemed impossible, God still uses that time.
In stillness, God prepares hearts. A resurrected life –new creations — need death. The death of self.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow,” Jesus asked.
When the snow melts, stems of life appear. Out of death arises beauty. The seeds planted have grown into flowers.
They didn’t instruction. They didn’t need to know God’s will for their lives. They didn’t ask why, or where, or how. They just grew.
Some plants have grown in fertile soil, and some are growing in the most unlikely of places. Whether hard-packed or carefully hoed, God has chosen the soil. He has planted right where he needs us to be.
As there are a variety of wildflowers, what emerges are three forms of spiritual growth.
A resurrected heart trusts in God’s promises. A soul believes that Jesus has fulfilled the law and by trusting in him, receives all that he has already accomplished for us. We are perfect. We are righteous. Not by what we have done or could do, but what Christ has already done for us. A seed planted becomes a harvested soul.
A resurrected life no longer sees themselves as slaves burdened by a cruel master of doubt and worry. They are set free. And in that freedom, they celebrate their victory by being a joyful servant. They rejoice in the field where God has planted them no matter what the field appears to be.
A resurrected life follows the dreams and desires for which God has planted in their hearts. Our plans, our thoughts of how life ought to be, must enter a season of winter in order to be put to death. What springs forth is accepting God’s timetable, His ways, His plans.
“Consider the wild flowers growing in the field.”
Even during winter, Jesus asks to consider the wild flowers when worry or doubt clouds our landscape. He points to their beauty when purpose, contentment, or a sense of meaning alludes us.
When Jesus asks us to consider the wild flowers, he is asking to consider how they grew. Did they labor? Did they spin? Did they enter themselves in a garden show and receive a blue ribbon to acknowledge their work? Did they receive proper acknowledgement for their efforts? Did they take credit for their beauty and glory?
No. The beauty and the abundance of the wildflowers grew naturally out of the care and the concerns of the Creator.
If God is concerned about the wildflowers, the birds of the air, and even the number of hairs on our head, then he is infinitely more concerned about our soul, our welfare, our dreams and desires.
Doubt, worry, anxiety or fear ebb away when we begin to see ourselves in a new light. We become a new creation. We see ourselves for what we already are — children of light.
And during this time of winter, God is asking us to shine that light.
I look out the window in the darkness of a winter dawn and still see our lamppost glistening with light on the new fallen snow. It’s bright. It’s noticeable. It’s beautiful.
And so are you.
Let’s shine our light and point to our Savior as the author of our salvation. Let’s share that Good News of why our savior was born in a manger.
It’s that time of year.