Monday, July 27, 2009

Picking Weeds & Pulling Flowers

As a child, we would travel up into the Rocky Mountains on weekends and the parks were always speckled with the most magical colors of flowers imaginable. Beautiful rich hues dyed the sides of the Rockies and they were almost too much to take in. I enjoyed getting out of the car and walking through the fields of flowers and picking some of my favorites. I especially liked those pretty blue Columbines (which I later learned I was not to be picking). There was no doubt I had an eye for the ascetically pleasing flora.

I loved flowers. But sometimes, even as much as I felt I knew the beauty of those gardens and mountain spreads, I would mistake a weed for a flower. You know the ones. Pretty, fluffy, colorful. The ones you'd pick and bring inside for mom just to discover that they were actually weeds. There were of course other times when I would pull a flower from its bed and toss it to the ground to be discarded as a pesky weed, not really knowing that it was indeed a flower, yet revealed.

I can tell you a little bit, based on what I know, of how God smells, the different ways God appears, the way God sounds, feels, even tastes. I can sense God in many ways and in many places. Sometimes, I feel so connected with God that I'm confident I could not possibly misidentify the One. Yet sin has a way of masking itself with God-like beauty. It has a way of deceiving even the most self-proclaimed strong Godly relationships. So deceiving in fact, that often we can find ourselves discarding the flowers that God is sending us and bringing the weeds inside.

Maybe it is a matter of our imperfect and flawed perceptions. You see, we know that appearances can be deceiving, yet we often judge by appearances alone. Therefore, if what we conceive in our minds as beauty, or God, or answered prayer, or hearts desire, is what shows up at our feet, we my find ourselves easily convinced that the nature is of the flower. Likewise, we may come face-to-face with God and God's blessings and not pick them, but discard them based on initial observation that the gift is a weed because it does not yet look like a flower. In the meantime, we have missed God's gift and have instead planted seeds of the weed. The sin is allowed in and God is kept out based on our perceptions of what is the flower and what is the weed.

What blessings, gifts and answered prayers has God been trying to send that you have been discarding? What sins have you let into your life because they came wrapped looking like your idea of a gift from God?

Satan wraps sin with pretty packaging and God often sends the most beautiful gifts in the most unexpected wrapping. I learned at an early age that to truly appreciate the beauty of the garden, I needed to more fully embrace the elements within. I needed to cultivate a relationship with the garden where I knew flowers by name and I could identify a weed from a flower. It is the same with our relationship with God. God has planted many people in our lives who have sown numerous seeds in the garden within us. By cultivating the soil and nourishing the seeds, God's love and blessings grow in us so organically that the beauty reveals itself like the first breath of life. But to sense any element of this relationship with God, we must invest the time and passion and love into it so that we may be so closely connected with God as we are to the faces of our own children, that there may be no mistaking a weed for a flower. Spend time with God in your garden and ask God to help reveal to you those weeds in your life that need pulling. Also allow God to help you discover the flowers whose beauty can touch another soul if you'd only pick them to share with someone else.

May God bless your flowers and heal your weeds.

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