It’s great to be back!
I praise God for His lessons on love and perseverance for our understanding and growth through nature!
I used to compare the Christian journey with a field of sunflowers thinking how beautiful life would be if it was like frolicking through a sunflower field. It was not until I finally got to visit one and let me tell you being there is not the same as enjoying a picture of sunflowers. Actually that day helped me to learn and understand some key lessons about seeking the beauty in life. Simply put, that day I experienced another kinesthetic lesson about resilience by pushing through the discomfort of a painful and ugly landscape and elements which are part of the sunflower field family. If you have not been to one, know that everything except the look of the sunflower itself is not pretty. Don’t believe what you see in pictures. There is a price to pay for their beauty.
To enjoy the beauty of sunflowers, you have to contend with the environment which creates the glorious picture backdrop. the field is filled with bees, the stalks are prickly and rough, your uncovered body parts get scratched, the ground is rough and filled with debris, and you risk being jabbed from broken stalks and shedded plants. In addition, your clothes will be laced with the debris from  sunflower death debris.
But no matter how dangerous, rugged, and absolutely uncomfortable this adventure was, I was determined to capture the perfect shot and live out the dreams I had of picking the perfectly round flowers for my home. But through the debris, I learned that I needed to mentally accept working through the messy reality of the sunflower field to get to them…there was no other way. And believe me, those huge flowers I picked, were worth the hassle! And, I now have in my photo album the most breathtaking and captivating photos of those sunflowers, and the satisfying memories of the work it took to get them.
The author E.G. White states in her devotional To Be Like Jesus, in the chapter called How to Learn from nature its Deepest Lessons
Those alone who recognize in nature their Father’s handiwork, who in the richness and beauty of the earth read the Father’s handwriting—those alone learn from the things of nature their deepest lessons, and receive their highest ministry. Only those can fully appreciate the significance of hill and vale, river and sea, who look upon them as an expression of the thought of God, a revelation of the Creator. Many illustrations from nature are used by the Bible writers, and as we observe the things of the natural world, we shall be enabled, under the guiding of the Holy Spirit, more fully to understand the lessons of God’s Word. It is thus that nature becomes a key to the treasure-house of the Word.”
If you want those beautiful end results in life and I mean experiencing your dreams and the plans God has for you, the only way to achieve them is to P.U.S.H. (Pray until Something Happens!), through all that life and the enemy sends your way! Push past the mess of life, the debris of failure, the stalks of guilt, the prickles of trauma, and fear of enemy stings. Push through with prayer… it is the only way!
The parable of the persistent widow found in Luke 18:1-8 gives us a beautiful picture of perseverance with faith from the evidence of God bringing us safely through other life experience, and then holding on really tight to new hope, that we will see th dream come to pass in the will of God.
But, we have to determine whether our dreams are worth the journey through our difficulties and what may seem impossible to us. If we do determine that they are worth it, then my friends, the end results will be us enjoying rewards. The the rewards of endurance, making it to the other side of the discomfort, a celebration of our faith, and enjoyment of our dreams!
The pictures of our joy won’t tell a 1000s words because our testimonies may need the pages of books to tell all of what God has brought us through, but our smiles will show a stunning snapshot of the worth of pushing through the trials of this life for the happiness of a relationship with God.
I weep sometimes thinking about what God has to maneuver through in me/us for a loving relationship. But He says He “so” loves us and we were worth the time, the discomfort, the danger, the lashes, the nails, the rejection, the scorn, the death, all just to get to us, His Son-flowers!
I pray that you find courage to push through in these three scriptures.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18 (ESV)
His joy in finding me, gives me strength to push through to meet Him, even in the midst of my mess! Praise the Lord!