The other day, I noticed that a beautiful flower had bloomed next to my patio deck. This was the first year that I noticed it and I wanted to know the name. So, I took a picture and checked the laymen encyclopedia, social media, to find my answer. I was quite confident that some of my friends and family members have also seen this same flower or at least had more knowledge than I had on this type of perennial. Just like I predicted, within minutes I received several responses. This started a friendly disagreement as to the type of flower. Some people called it is an “azalea” and others are classifying it as a “rhododendron.”
After reading the social media postings, a co-worker sent me an article in a text message that explained how an azalea is part of the rhododendron classification. This was an answer to the first part of my mystery. More importantly, I was still trying to understand how I could have lived in this house for almost five years, but only noticed its existence this year. Was I really that oblivious? Or could it have been invisible to me the previous years because it blended into the background, so I never gave it a second glance? Either way, it is beautiful and I am enjoying seeing it blossom and mature into its glory.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15
How many times have you felt like you are in the same position as this flower? Have people made assumptions about who you are? Have you felt invisible to the people around you? Do you feel like people are always looking at you? Do people try to define you by their standards and not allow you to blossom and to mature into the person who God created you to be?
I think that we all will identify with one or more of these sentiments at one time or another in our lifetime. Life is all about experiencing these seasons. These are the changes that we are confronted with that are designed to mold us into what God desires us to look like. When we are seeking His purpose and His plans for our lives, we often feel like the spotlight is either on us or like no one sees us at all.
Jeremiah 1:5 declares that God knew us before He formed us in our mother’s belly. Isaiah 43:1 reminds Christians not to be afraid, that God ransoms us when we choose to live for Him and that He calls us by our names. These are not my words, but our Heavenly Father’s words. This is such a beautiful depiction of Christ’s love for us!
I often picture myself as this flower. Sometimes I feel like people are always trying to figure me out or do not understand the transitions that I am experiencing during my time of blooming. This can be difficult because I know that I must be pruned in order to be more Christ-like and it doesn’t feel good when I am in situations that allow for that process to take place. The more I grow, the more people take notice.
As daughters and sons of the Almighty King of Glory, we are always on display. Our lights are supposed to shine bright for the world to see (Matthew 5:14-16) and we should be a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 2:15). This is the life that we are to emulate when we choose to be in the garden of believers. Even though it may not be a comfortable experience when people watch you, don’t try to just blend into the background. Allow Christ to put you on display today for the world to see! Remember that even when you mess up, God can still use it to bring Him glory (Romans 8:28).
Prayer Starter: Lord it is not always easy when you are cutting away the areas in my life that do not line up with your plans for me. Sometimes I feel as if no one notices the good that I do and other times I feel like people are constantly watching me to see if I fail. Please continue to show me every day how to be placed on display, so that the world can see You in me. When I make mistakes, please forgive me and teach me how to rely on You. Amen