Friday, April 22, 2005

Wisteria Wisdom

One of the most typical difficulties posed by those challenging the existence of God concerns the lack of "proof." "Show me the evidence," challenges the unconvinced seeker, "and then I'll believe."
Of course, rock solid "proof" of the Almighty's being would make faith unnecessary. If God did offer such indisputable evidence, stating your belief in God would be equivalent to making the statement: "I am making a statement."
Thankfully, God has not hidden himself completely. Romans 1:20 states:

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

This scripture has given me a whole new sense of wonder on my half-hour drive to work through the countryside. Over the last two weeks, the abundance of green here in North Carolina has been punctuated with a seasonal dash of heavenly purple in the form of wisteria (see photo above). Trees that were all green, seemingly overnight, suddenly burst forth with these beautiful flowers, drooping from every branch. Since purple's always been my favorite colour, I see these floral feasts as an extra special revealing of God's handiwork to me, the artist formerly known as Prince, and lovers of lavender worldwide.
These natural beauties will not be here for long, however. A call to my local botanical garden reveals that they will stop blooming in a short week or so. Already, their colours have started to fade. This knowledge of their ephemeral visibility only makes the appreciation more fervent however. I will admire the beauty, but be mindful of certain reminders:

1) Beauty fades, so don't make it your focus. Like a supermodel in the world of flora, the wisteria has unquestionable beauty, but Proverbs 31:30 (Amplified version) keeps it in perspective:
"Charm {and} grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently {and} worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!"

2) Life itself passes quickly, so get on with the business of God while you're here. I wonder if the writer of Psalm 39:4 had wisteria in view when he asked the Lord to: "remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away." For more on this topic, this is an excellent site.

3) Remember that God is the ultimate provider, who knows all our needs. While we may not always feel our desires are being met, HE alone knows what is good for us. Therefore, I will strive to remember that He provides, and not knock myself out following the fashions (clothing or otherwise) of this world. God will adorn me as he sees fit. Matthew 6:28 - "Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes."

Man, all these observations from a simple flower. There's power in them petals! Thank you, Lord, for showing us your glory in nature. Thanks you Lord, for your reminder of WHO made it all. Help me Lord, when I stop to smell the flowers, to remember to worship You - the Creator, not the creation.

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