Sunday, April 18, 2010

the flowers fade

yesterday we had a conversation in the car that went like this:

asher:  those are pretty flowers mom.  why did amma give them to you?

me:  because she is going out of town and wants someone to be able to enjoy them.

asher:  but who is going to enjoy them when we go out of town next weekend?

me:  well, they won't live that long.  they will only probably be alive a couple more days, so we get to enjoy them for the short time they are still alive.

asher:  but i thought it was spring?  why will the flowers die?

this led into a conversation about the difference between cut flowers and flowers that are still on the plant, and how in reality both will eventually die.  of course, as a six year old, asher's main question was why.  i started thinking about how to explain it to him.  since i am not a botanist, i simply told him this:  God created the flowers.  He could have made them any way He wanted to, but He chose to make the have a short spurt of absolute beauty and then for them to die.  He could have made them bloom forever.  He could have chosen to have their fragrance and beauty go on and on and on.  but for some reason, when He had a completely blank slate to work with when creating flowers, He chose for them to bloom, be fragrant and beautiful, and then in frailty fade away.  i don't know why He chose it to be this way, but i do know it was not an accident.

i thought about this the rest of the evening.  there is beauty in the frailty of flowers.  it reminds me of the verses in matthew 6 about God's care for us:
and why are you worried about clothing? observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. but if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? you of little faith!

i also think of david's comparison of man to the flowers in psalms 103:15:
as for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

also isaiah 40:6-8 comes to mind:
all flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 
the grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass.
the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.

the bible has so many references to the frail beauty of the flowers.  it makes me wonder:  why God, did You chose to create flowers this way?  why would You create something so beautiful and so satisfying only for it to be gone in a short time?  why would You take something so beautiful and instead of creating it strong, You purposed to make it weak? 

all this thinking of flowers reminds me of our own short lives here on earth.  i think it puts in perspective what the end of the passage in isaiah 40:8 says - the brevity of the flowers and even our lives are meant to stand in great contrast to the eternal nature of God and His Word (Jesus).

when i can look at all of life and all of the natural world around me and realize that the only thing that never fades is Him, it causes me to wonder.  how could the eternal find pleasure in temporal and fragile beauty?  how could He take those who fade just like the flowers, and transform them into an eternal bride for His Son?  how could the God who possesses all strength and majesty find beauty in humanity which is so frail?   it is a mystery that may baffle me for a lifetime. 

with each flower of spring, wonder arises within me at this Creator God who could have done things a million different ways.  but He chose the perfect way.   this God of all strength and power chose to pursue and win the hearts of frail and fragile humans like me.  this truly is a wonderful God.



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