Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's More Than A Sunflower

Vincent van Gogh found something intriguing about sunflowers. He loved them so, he painted them. They are not only beautiful, but productive. Their seeds are of value as is the oil that comes from them. There is something amazing about these sun chasers. Have you ever really paid attention to the sunflower? As it wakes in the morning it follows the sun from the east and turns completely to the west when the sun sets. Fascinating? I believe so. I think this little gem is a perfect picture of what our relationship with Christ should be. This flower is totally focused on the sun. We should be sold out focused on the Son! Where He is we should be. Where He turns we need to turn.

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma"
Ephesians 5:1-2

So many times we turn the other direction and go our own way searching for that something to make us shine. In doing so we lose the luster that only He can give. These flowers grow to great heights. They tower over all others giving life abundant. They just look noble, don't they? They are so complex in their beauty. Such grand beauty from one seed. Every bit of the sunflower can be used. Just as we too can, if we only surrender to the Son.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy, meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8-9

In seeking out information on these beautiful flowers, some say, "No, they do not follow the sun. Mature plants always face the east." Others say, "Yes, they do follow the sun." What can I gain from this? Many times in my walk with Christ, I have taken my eyes off Him. The more mature I grow in my walk with Him the more I face and follow Him. Listen to this information:

When the plant is in the bud stage, it tends to track the movement of the sun across the horizon. Once the flower opens into the radiance of yellow petals, it faces east. No one knows why. However, it is likely a defensive response. Facing south or west could result in sun-scalding of seeds during very hot days.

I find this amazing!! Could this be a picture of the Holiness of God? God in all His majesty?

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
Isaiah 6:3

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:6-9

When we keep our eyes upon Him, not our circumstances, He will show us great and mighty things. We will find those small blessings and He will open our eyes to wonders we would have never seen if those storms had not covered overhead. If those rains had not poured down and the winds of time tested our endurance. In keeping our eyes upon Him we will find that we will stand. Sure, we might bend, but we will not break. For there is nothing more powerful than the God of all hope that casts out all doubt.

"For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth."
Psalm 71:5

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

We can look upon the Sunflower with hope. How can we not? It is one of those flowers that just makes you smile. From the smallest of seedlings it grows in beauty and bounty. May we plant ourselves in the fertile foundation of God. Might we follow Him in all His ways and seek to spread a little sunshine to all we meet.


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