Do You Remember… Field of Flowers?

She was upset. She didn’t want to go but didn’t know why. She had spent weeks away before. Why was it so hard this time? Because it was going to be a week and a half instead of the week she first thought it would be? Why should that make a difference?

She packed slowly, feeling worse by the hour. She liked being home. All her things were there. She didn’t have many responsibilities lately and was enjoying working on her projects.

But she was needed elsewhere. And she wanted to help so she agreed to go. And had been OK about it until it came time to pack. Her online business required she take her computer, sewing machine, and the boxes of orders she needed to finish. By the time her SUV was packed to the brim, she was angry and stressed and wishing she didn’t have to go. But she had promised. She was needed. So she went.

On the way, she stopped to buy the groceries she would need while she was there. The store was very small and didn’t have everything she wanted. Anger turning to sadness and a bit of self-pity, she  squeezed the few bags of groceries into her car. As she opened the driver’s door, she looked down and saw a penny. She knew God was telling her He saw her and would be with her. She picked up the penny and put it into her pocket, thanking God for the reminder. But it didn’t help much with her feelings.

Driving the long distance, she slowly became aware that almost every light she went through was green. As many times as she’s driven this route, that almost never happens. And where was the traffic? It should have been bumper to bumper at this time of day. God again?

Once at the house, and her things were in the room she would sleep in, she set up her computer and checked her emails. Nothing exciting. She took a few notes on what she would be responsible for  – such as where things were, how to prepare them, what his daily routine was like, when to give him his meds – and felt increasingly insecure. Could she do this? What if something went wrong?

She decided to take a walk to ease the restlessness building in her legs. As she entered the nearby walking track, she looked down and saw something small and colorful. She picked up the little toy and looked around for its possible owner. But there were no kids around. She looked again at it and saw that it was a little plastic flower in a little plastic pot.

IMG_20180425_192816858

“Aw… God gave me a flower.” she thought.

“It’s more than that,” came a still small voice.

More?

“Remember what you wrote… about a flower…”

And the story she had written about the field of flowers came immediately to mind. And she knew.

She had written about a picture God had given her many years before. About a flowers growing joyfully in a field. And she had been sad that she had picked some of them to give to Jesus, who had promptly given them to the Father.

“These are growing beautifully, just like You said. But the ones I picked are not growing anymore. I ruined them.”

“No, child,” He said gently. “You didn’t ruin anything. Even the flowers you picked were given to the Father. It’s all for His glory – whether growing or picked.”

He continued. “Be like the flowers.  Be the beautiful you He made you to be. Enjoy life, praising and loving Him, relaxing in His care, and sharing your beauty with everyone.’

“That’s easy to do, when I’m in a place as wonderful as this field. But what if someone picks me? What if they take me away from the peace and joy of this field?”  She was thinking about all the demands the people in her life place on her.

“Don’t resist them. Give yourself joyfully. And just like those flowers, you, too, will be given to the Father for His glory.”

She thought she understood. At least here, in this place, it made sense. She wasn’t so sure it would feel the same when she put it into practice.

“Will You help me?” she asked Him. “When people make their demands and take me from where I want to be, will You help me remember the flowers?”

Amazingly, that’s just what He did. With a little plastic flower in the little plastic pot.

It’s in the Practice

Thinking back on all she had learned, she felt frustrated. And a little bit sad.

She knew God loved her.

She knew He was with her every moment.

She knew He was looking out for her and had a purpose for her life.

She knew He was faithful and trustworthy and powerful.

 

So why, with all this knowledge, was she unable to apply it to her day to day life? Why was she so ready to doubt? Why was just trusting Him so hard?

 

“Lord,” she prayed. “Tell me how to transform my head knowledge into heart knowledge. How do I trust You?”

“By doing what I say. By trying and falling and trying again.”IMG_20180423_204508177_TOP

“That doesn’t sound fun.”

“It’s like learning to walk. You will learn slowly. And sometimes it’s painful. But you have to do it. It won’t happen automatically.”

“Why can’t it?”

“Because I didn’t design you that way. If growth came automatically, it wouldn’t mean much.”

“I guess that’s true. Some of the things I value the most are the things I worked hardest at. At it would be easy to take faith for granted if we never had to think about it.”

“Exactly. And every step you take towards deeper faith pleases your Father greatly.”

“Well, I do want to please Him in everything I do. I guess growing faith fits right in. OK. So how do I take these steps?”

“Put into practice what you read and…”

“All of it? Really? I’ve read so many conflicting ideas and suggestions and beliefs.”

“Listen for Me when you read. You’ll know then what to put into practice.”

“I think I do recognize You sometimes as I read. It’s like my heart does a flip or sometimes grows warm. Or sometimes the words jump off the page at me.”

“Yes, different ways, to keep you on your toes.”

“Is that it?”

“No, You must also put into practice all that I say to you. And yes, all!”

“Even the hard things? And the scary things?”

“You don’t need to fear. I won’t tell you to do anything that you’re not ready to do.”

“What if I make a mistake in hearing from You? What if I think You said to do something, but I heard wrong?”

“That will happen at times. Stay humble, come to me, and I’ll take care of you. I’ll either cover for you or I’ll show you how to fix it.”

“But if I’m going to be wrong sometimes, how can I trust enough to act on it?”

“Don’t doubt but believe. As you act, as you practice taking these steps, you will get better and your faith will grow stronger. ”

“And You will be with me?”

“Every step of the way. I will not let you down.”

She thought about what He said. Although she wasn’t thrilled about the falls she would make over time, she was always thrilled when He spoke to her. And this time was no exception. “Thank You, Lord, for speaking to me and for Your amazing promises!  I will practice as You say. And I look forward to the day when my trust in You is no longer just in my head, but has truly taken up residence in my heart!”