Maybe when this Bougainvillea was just a tiny seedling it dreamed of growing in a fine garden on the palace grounds, or nestled among roses and boxwood in the botanical gardens. But to be brought home and planted by a concrete path with just a few feet for its roots to take hold – this was not the dream at all.
But the dreary foggy mornings gave the seedling just a kiss of moisture every day and before she knew it she grew over the small dooryard. Her owners were not kings and queens but just ordinary people who loved the reddish blooms that came every year and cheered them as they came and went.
Just because God has not chosen for us to often be among the “Important” people and places of our world means nothing in His grand scheme of things. He may daily give us dreary misty days so that our roots will be nourished and give us what we need to rejoice and bloom exactly where we’ve been planted.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30
Going up the dirt road to the farm this week I met a snapping turtle. He(or she) was crossing when i stopped to get a closer look. At first he did his best to continue on ignoring me, then as I came closer he turned to prepare for an attack that never came. For some reason I remembered the scene from Voyage of the Dawn Treader, “Beware the oppressor, He’s very oppressive!” The Dufflepuds warn Lucy.
To the turtle I seemed a very likely oppressor, but just as in CS Lewis’ book, I was in fact not at all interested in harming him. In the Bible there is a story that in some ways conveys the picture of a servant with the same kind of thinking.
He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ Matthew 25:24-25
In the turtle I saw a reflection of my own short-sightedness, defensiveness and fear in my relationship with God. I look fearfully about in those moments when I feel Him coming closer and sometimes try to take refuge in my own shell. When I am cornered I sometimes snap out at people around me. But in place of being safe in my shell, instead I thrash about like Peter when he got his eyes off of Jesus and he began to sink beneath the waves. Thank God that in the same way Jesus reached out immediately when Peter called for help, so also He hears my cry and comes to my rescue. Just like Peter, God’s grace reaches me and together he brings me safely back to His boat.
What a friend we have in Jesus
Al our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer