I was sitting in a friend’s living room when I noticed some crimson red flowers in a vase on the coffee table. I was almost spellbound by their loveliness, and as I gazed at this beautiful creation, I seemed to hear God’s voice telling me, I want you to be like those flowers.
As I reflected on these words later and on how simply seeing an artistic assortment of flowers can lift our spirits and inspire us, I remembered Jesus’ words, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”1
If the lilies don’t strive, why do I? I guess it happens when I get my eyes off of God and stop reflecting His light and glory. I start trying to do things in my own strength and haste and end up inadvertently going in the wrong direction. Things stop working out the way I hope.
A flower shines by reflecting God’s glory. It gently sways with the breeze, smiling at passersby and showing them the love God gave it. A flower is not idle; it is constantly working to take in the light of the sun and transform it into something it can use.
Keeping in touch with God through prayer is essential if we are to grow and blossom like the lilies of the field. And of course, many flowers blossom into fruit! So to be fruitful, we should take the time to absorb God’s sunshine and allow God’s Spirit to pollinate us and others. As Timothy Keller wrote in Every Good Endeavor, “The way to serve God at work is to work with a grateful, joyful, gospel-changed heart through all the ups and downs—to dance with the wind, and to smile through the rain, and to die to self that others may live.”
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“Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time. … We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world—just respond to people’s needs. … We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.”—Mother Teresa (1910–1997)