“There’s something very beautiful deep inside you,” her boyfriend told her.
“No, there isn’t,” she responded.
“Yes, there is. I can see God pouring His love all over you, watering you as if you were a flower. Only you can’t feel it.”
On the surface, she had come to know God’s love and presence, and to a degree could accept that, but deep down was a whole different story. She could feel the darkness that she believed was down there, and was afraid to find out that she was right.
“No,” she shook her head. “There’s nothing good in me.”
“I don’t believe that. I see you as a bud, closed up tightly around great beauty. And I see God slowly and gently opening your petals, one by one.”
Fear rose up in her. What if He really was doing that? What if He gets to the center of her being and finds only darkness there? Maybe even evil. And demons.
“What if I’m afraid?”
“It’s OK. God knows that. And He will go only as fast as you are able. He won’t force you.”
“Maybe, but I can’t take the chance.” She really, really didn’t want to find out she had demons. She had heard of plenty of people who had had demons cast out of them. She shuddered just thinking about it. What would that be like, having a demon cast out? Maybe like having a nasty worm in your stomach pulled out through your mouth. She had seen a video of that once. Or like having leprosy on the inside that would gross out anyone who saw it. She’d rather hide her darkness than subject others to it. Her petals would have to remain closed.
Later, they talked about it some more. She took in his words, hoping he was right, but knowing that he wasn’t.
The next night, they attended a prayer meeting together. She listened in amazement as the speaker for the night spoke about… she could hardly believe it… how God opens His people little by little, to reveal the beauty that is inside them.
No way, she thought. That has to be more than a coincidence. She got excited thinking that maybe… but no. That was true for other people but not for her. She knew there was nothing but darkness inside her. She could feel it.
The next night, she had an unexpected visit from a friend. This friend handed her a vase with a magnolia bud and a red rose in it. She thanked her friend and had a nice visit, but she didn’t think much about the flowers.
Until the next day.
The magnolia bud had opened during the night – and the flower was absolutely beautiful! Somehow she knew beyond a doubt that this flower was from the Lord. She could feel His love and presence and knew that He was doing something deep within her. As she yielded to Him, she began looking forward to finding out what that something was.
It would take years for her petals to fully open. But when they did, she found out she had been wrong all along. Instead of darkness, she found Light. Instead of evil and demons needing to be cast out, she found His great love for her. She realized her fear had been lying to her all those years.
“There’s something very beautiful deep inside you,” her boyfriend, now husband, had told her those many years ago. Now she finally knew that it was true. There WAS something beautiful deep inside her. And that something was called Jesus.