My wedding was full of lilies: stargazers and calla lilies. I carried them in my bouquet. They surrounded Brian and me at the altar. Resplendent glory wrapped around us as we bowed our bodies and knelt before God and a couple hundred witnesses. Brian prayed quietly for us and our marriage while Bri’s sister sang over us for God to take our lives as keeper of our souls, and we offered ourselves to God.
Lilies are one of the most beautiful flowers.
It’s no wonder Jesus said how Solomon in all of his kingly finery was not arrayed like a lily.
I have read these verses in Matthew more times than I can count.
“…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I’ve always considered how this verse speaks to God’s love for grass and flowers which are like a vapor. He has given the flowers a lavish beauty. Will He not care for me and my needs as His child? Lavish and eternal beauty await me. How glorious!
But today when I read that verse, I really considered it.
How lilies grow.
They spend more time buried underneath the ground in dark coolness than they do sprouting up and shining forth.
They spend most of their life waiting.
The Lord sends what they need when they need it, and they wait for Him to send it. Then they sprout and they grow and they are breathtaking when they bloom. And then it is time for them to die, but they never really die, they just lose their plumage. Their shoots and flowers die, but their bulb lives underground.
Whenever I thought about that verse, I’ve always pictured the splendor of the flower, the beauty of the lily.
But in order for the lily to be beautiful, it must share dark earth with worms. The bulb is where the nutrients are and they are either producing flowers or storing up nutrients from the earth around them so they can produce flowers the next season. In order to bloom, they must store up food… and in order to grow they need the light.
How like my heart!
I want the beautiful array of lilies to shine all the time. But the reality is, I need the periods of waiting or hiding. I need the darkness so I will hunger for the light.
And I am learning over and over and over again that this darkness, this waiting is a gift.
So like the lilies, I wait.
I wait and store up nutrients from the Word, seeking His Kingdom first.
I wait and I know that when He is ready, He will work in ways I never would have imagined.
And the results will be breathtaking.
Because the results will be all about Him.
And for me, unlike the lilies, it will be eternal.
Consider the lilies… how they grow.
I like that.
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