Jane M. Phinney | June 8, 2020 |
Life’s simple pleasures are the best. More & more I’m taking the time to appreciate seemingly small “gifts” that are often overlooked in the busyness of daily life. A few weeks back I was party to a small, but significant, lasting memory. Temps were cooler then & our windows were open. I was going outside to water the plants. Part way through the living room I heard “Oh-h WOW!” coming from the front of our property. I stopped & peeked through the curtains to see 2 boys standing dead still, on the sidewalk, with their mouths gaped open. They were staring at our 4’x4’ American peony bushes, flaunting fully opened 6” fushia blooms in all His glory. I chuckled at the sight. These young men looked to be between 8-10 years old & I was struck that something taken for granted by most, would bring their running to a halt…so they could take in the beauty.
This year I’ve been especially mindful of the handiwork orchestrated by our Creator. Maybe it’s because we are home more & running around less. But it has not escaped my attention that as one flower cycle completes itself & the color dies, another variety blooms. The best part is, when we planted them, we did not purposefully plan the pattern. The Veitch’s variety that the boys observed gave way to the traditional peony with soft petals too numerous to count. The fragrance is simply spectacular! After the peonies came the salvia (both purple & white) which were closely followed by the Asiatic lilies. The petunias are maturing & the geraniums are multiplying. This week our large semi-circle of blazing stars will stand out as the grand finale. My love for peonies came from my grandmother so I guess you could say I’m carrying on a family tradition. She would smile at that. 😊
God knew that May would be a difficult time for me. Like the predictable life cycle of flowers, my sweet sister-in-law, Karen, also completed her life cycle. After living 1 day short of 8 full weeks without food, because of an inoperable intestinal blockage, she went home to Jesus in the wee hours of the morning on May 26. She fought cancer for 2 years & 8 months. And although we prayed for a miracle, she truly received hers when she was welcomed into heaven. I can only imagine that “Oh-h WOW!” paled in comparison to her reaction as she beheld her Savior, fully, for the very first time.
God is in control of all the life cycles in His creation. We can see that in the beauty of flowers but more importantly, we see it in the seasons of our personal lives. “All flesh is grass, & 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.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)
When someone I love leaves this earth, I remember Job 14:5. “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, & his limits Thou hast set so that he cannot pass.” Karen’s months numbered 833 + 13 days. God had her days/months planned from the beginning & she could not exceed His boundaries. I find that truth very comforting. He determines when we are born. He determines when we die. And in between, He has a plan for our lives. He has a purpose for our lives. And He has the power to accomplish His purposes in us—through the indwelling Life of Christ. When you see blooming flowers, remember that God also has your days determined & your months set. Are you accomplishing His work? And are you ready to meet His physical boundary for your life?