For some reason when I purchase new azaleas, I leave the tag on them. I keep intending to take them off and put them in my garden notebook, but at the moment, it's not convenient or I forget or I think "I'll get it later..." . You know how it goes.
The other day I was walking through our woods, looking at all the flowers when I spotted one of those labels and decided it was way past time to retrieve it. It had been on there a couple of years and was so faded you could barely even make out the name anymore. When I reached for it, it literally disintegrated in my hand. I mean it was just like confetti!! I was amazed. The next day I happened to be in the other end of the flower bed and saw another one I had left ,though this one had not been on there quite as long. The picture was perfect, not faded at all. I reached for it and to my utter amazement, it did the same thing....completely disintegrated into a million tiny pieces.
I couldn't help but think how very much like our lives that is. We look good on the outside, all put together, colorful, and happy. Yet the rains and wind, storms and heat have beaten upon us til suddenly we shatter into a million pieces, no longer able to keep up the facade.
God does not want us to crumble. He wants us to stand strong, to withstand the storms, clinging to Him. He wants us to put down deep roots into the soil of His love so that when the storms DO come and the heat of turmoil beats down on us, we will only grow stronger. He wants us to "be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bring forth his fruit in his season; his leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1: 3
Those tags on those azaleas had no protection. They were exposed to the elements day in and day out. They had no source of food to maintain them. They had no one to shelter them. But we have a Master Gardener who feeds us with His Word, who tends us, who shelters us in the storm. He longs to nurture us, cultivate us and cause us to blossom with beauty for all the world to see. He wants more than just a "picture" of a flower, He wants us to be the real deal!
3 hours ago