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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God's Wisdom on Display

You’ve probably heard God chose nature as His first missionary. Being His initial creation, it makes sense that humanity would need but look around to recognize His abundant handiwork. Beyond the natural eye, His expertise is best seen at the end of telescopes or microscopes. 

Sunflower behavior fascinates me. An enormous flower atop a challenged stem suggests tension in physics. Adding constant movement of the flower defies its ability to remain upright. The same horticultural pattern is noted with wheat and tares. The tares intentionally mix with the wheat, but maturity flushes them out. For when wheat is ripe for harvesting, its many mature kernels cause its head to bow from weight exposing the upright counterfeit tares. The Lord is a wise harvester.

We thrive when planted. It’s critical to our survival to have extensive roots. The deeper the roots, the more secure our longevity. For adverse winds, heat, and drought threaten survival while deep root systems anchor us, along with finding water and nutrients out of reach for shallow ones. 

“As for man, his days are like grass; like a flower of the field, so he flourishes.” Psalm 103:15 (NASB)

Sunflowers also offer a different component. They literally chase the sun all day. Their massive heads slowly move to face the sun as it charts the sky; shifting with imperceivable movements. Constant sun exposure is critical to survival and seed production. They so identify with the light that their blooms actually resemble the sun itself.

These flowers have much to teach. We need to focus on moving multi-directionally while following the Son. Remaining planted so we can flourish while providing numerous seeds to feed many and multiply. That our unseen roots would grow deeply to support our visible life; protecting our survival.

There’s another profound aspect of sunflower life. Once the sun sets, these flowers slowly reorient themselves during the night to face east in anticipation of the sun’s rising. Whether it’s cloudy or raining the sunflower continues its precise sunshine tracking. It’s this botanical missionary’s sermon for us to trust our Son even when not seen—believing in faith He’s actively working on our behalf.

God has designed we stay planted even though we might challenge this address.

“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.” Genesis 49:22 (NIV)

The Lord’s definition of fruitfulness requires two necessary mandates: planted and watered. His soil needs watering by the Holy Spirit’s rivers of living waters for bountiful growth. Without them, maturation becomes impossible. Christ addressed good soil in His Sower Parable, explaining the abundant life produced in such spiritual environs.

When planted and watered, growth occurs. Branches are nourished and lengthen. In this continued setting the miraculous happens and purpose is realized. Bounty arrives and mature branches climb over the wall. In God’s garden setting He cares for us while orchestrating our influence. Nurtured quietly, our growth inches over the wall where others benefit from our choices. We provide fruit for the hungry, housing within our branches, and shade for the weary; offering needed respite. 

Like the shofar’s bends and curls, we are called to duplicate its physical meaning. To bend our hearts and will to The Almighty; conforming to His unique plans for us. To follow Him whether we see His shining presence or if He’s clothed in a thick cloud. And to be planted in good soil watered by His word; enabling us to climb over any wall to help others succeed in life.

We’re all invited to be SonFlowers following the Son, while blooming exactly where we’re planted.

Copyright © March 2021 Susan M. Watkins, used with permission.

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