Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
1 Timothy 4:15-16 “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
For the last several weeks I have watched and waited for this one bloom on my Anthurium to open and bloom. It seemed to be so slow, like it was reluctant to open and let me see its beauty. Finally, this week it opened, yet it was not ‘perfect’ like the other blooms on the plant. Yet, in its imperfection it radiates its own beauty. I saw myself in that bloom – I am not perfect. I sin, I get impatient with others, I have difficulty being still and waiting for God to answer, I have many faults. Sometimes I am reluctant to open myself up for God to use, and quite often I am reluctant to open myself up to others because I do not want to let them see my ‘imperfections.’
The title of my devotion this morning was “Blooming for the Lord”, how perfect is His timing. The scriptures and the words were exactly what I needed to hear this morning. God is our nurturer, supporter, and encourager. He planted us right where we need to be to follow His plan. He knows our imperfections and faults, yet He loves us. He knew our imperfections before we were born, yet He planted us and planned for us to bloom for Him.
As I thought about my Anthurium, I could not help but to compare how anxiously I waited for it to open and bloom for me to the way I envision God anxiously waits for us to open our hearts and bloom for Him. We are imperfect, just like my Anthurium, Cosmos, Mandevilla, Canna Lily, and even my tomatoes. Yet, for each imperfect flower or vegetable, the beauty and the deliciousness are still there for us to enjoy. Just like the beauty God sees in each of us, despite the imperfections.
This morning as I walked around watering all my houseplants and gardens, I noticed how well everything is growing this year. The beauty and growth throughout my gardens are so much more than what I have seen in past years. Then I realized I have been more intentional in their care and nourishment this year. Again, I started to compare their growth to my growth in my relationship with God – how intentional I have been in studying His word and having conversations with Him every morning, and quite often throughout the day. As a result, I feel like I am growing and blooming more in my relationship with the Lord. Growth in any facet of life comes through nourishment and intentional care, our relationship with God demands no less.
God waters us, showers us, nurtures us through His word, His guidance, His love, and His care. We can all bloom, and just like the breathtaking beauty of my Anthurium or Mandevilla, God wants us to bloom into breathtaking disciples for His purpose. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good words, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God nurtures us so that we will become bright and beautiful witnesses of His goodness and glory. Just like each flower, fruit, and vegetable has different stages of life, we have different stages of life and different stages in our relationships with God. No matter where you are in life, staying close in a relationship with God will allow you to blossom and share the beauty of His love for everyone.
So go, grow, flourish, and bloom for the Lord. For we are planted in the House of the Lord.
Psalm 92:12-13, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon, planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
“Truly charity has no limit; for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in each one of us, calling us to a life of devotion and inviting us to bloom in the garden where He has planted and directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence.” -Saint Francis de Sales