Once we were edging and weeding several hundred feet of perennial beds on a large estate, in preparation for the owner’s weekend visit. On the crew that day, we had a new employee named Waldemar. So as not to overtax him, I started Waldemar on a stretch of the bed which only needed some light weeding. After working on the other side of the house for an hour, I came back to check on my new friend and found to my dismay that he had not only pulled out every single weed, but he had also taken out all the primroses which were just beginning to pop out of the ground. “Waldemar, where are the flowers?” I asked. My poor friend stopped what he was doing and glanced back along the empty bed with a bewildered look.
“Just because they aren’t blooming yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t flowers.” I explained
Looking back, I can see that I should have spent more time training and I had forgotten how many years it took for me to learn which were the weeds and which the flowers. The church is a lot like that perennial garden. Just as in today’s verse, God has planted each of us where He designed and each of us blooms in our own season. While we are just beginning to grow, we might not look much different than the weeds. So, let’s be careful this week in how we treat others. Every part of God’s garden has something growing, and even flowers that have finished blooming still have value. Some older plants with only green leaves give a nice backdrop to the younger blossoms that are just opening. Others, even with only wilted tops, give quiet example as they simply rest, knowing that surely one day it will be Springtime again!
I hope you like today’s video that tells the story as well as includes the hymn “In the Garden” (It’s my favorite!) I was so blessed to have a new volunteer come along with me this week to visit my Thursday morning memory care friends.
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:5 KJV
If we were asked to pick one single member of our body that we would miss the least, many would answer, our little toe. After all that toe is not only very small but probably no one would even notice. But not long ago I had a revelation about its value when that toe met the leg of our kitchen table. First came the pain that made me sit down for several minutes until my head cleared. My brain didn’t care about my strong hands, smooth biceps or well combed hair. All I could focus on was just exactly how much I loved my toe!
The same is true in God’s body called the church. You see, not only was I in pain on the day when I broke my toe, but it affected every part of my life. My morning walk was transformed into a morning hobble to the coffee pot. Our seat towards the front of the church was traded for one nearest the door. Over those six weeks, a walk on the beach or working in my garden were both definitely out. Even getting my shoes off and on was a delicate task. Slowly I learned that humility is the first step towards appreciation. Maybe there are members, not only of our body, but also of our church or our own family whom we are just taking for granted. Maybe we are overlooking their value because we haven’t slowed down enough to notice them. But we are all noticed by Jesus Christ. Let’s not wait for even one of them to be broken before we learn to treat them with respect! After all even God’s littlest toes were loved so much by Jesus that He gave not only His love and but also His life for ours!
When the puzzle was almost together we noticed something missing…. It was the final piece! Ten minutes of searching yielded our prize which had discovered a hiding place under the table! But our victory was short lived because surprisingly even though there was only one open space left the piece we found didn’t fit!
That is when my wife’s sharp eyes picked out the problem. One of the other puzzle pieces had taken its place. The same is also true in the church. Two bad things happen when we try to be something we are not. The place God chose for us remains empty and we also steal the spot that God designed someone else to fill!
Let God fit you in where you belong and the puzzle will show the world the face of Jesus Christ!