Lilies of the Field

Lillies

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Matt. 6:28-29

 

Let me tell you a story about my lilies.

This afternoon I noticed how my lilies were growing: choked.

Last week, I’d noticed the number of weeds in their little corner of the flower bed in front of the house, and I’d reached out to pluck some of the weeds when my mother stopped me.

“Wait,” she said, “I like the little purple flowers. Can’t you wait a little while and let them grow?”

I rolled my eyes and insisted they were weeds, but, “okay,” I consented. “What can a few days hurt?”

My mother is great at loving the little things in life, and, without her staying my hand at this inopportune time, I wouldn’t have the following illustration to share with you.

This week, when I arrived at the farm to help with weeding and planting, I saw what “got hurt” by letting those weeds (henbit) grow.

As I carefully unwound the weeds from tender lily leaves trying to make their way through the tangled mess, I noticed how bruised and damaged the leaves were. How crooked they were—how broken they were.

How could it be that they were broken? Weren’t the plants growing simultaneously? I mean, it’s barely April! Hardly anything has gotten a real chance to grow yet. No one had stepped on them, pinched them, nor had the weeds done anything other than grow among them—because they were allowed to.

And those lilies were surprisingly damaged.

Can that be what happens in our own lives? Maybe we don’t even see the weed starting—or maybe it’s pretty and harmless and we allow it to . . . yes, to grow. What could it hurt to let them grow for a little while as long as our intention is to pull them out?

This might be a habit—something to just “try out.” Or, it could be something we’re too lazy to deal with right now when we should. Weeds can have many different forms and mutations.

But let me bring this to our present crisis.

Is there a weed of worry in your life? A weed of stress? Frustration? Are weeds holding you captive?

Are the weeds choking you because you let in a wee-little-bit of worry into your mind because the world (in some respects) seems to be ending, and now the worry won’t leave? In fact, as the days roll by, the worries are justified?

That, my friends, is where the damage comes in. When you let worry take over your life and justify it, your own tender lily leaves become crushed.

So let me leave you with this: the Lord has already taken your worry captive. All you have to do is surrender it to Him. Let Him pull the weeds and heal your leaves.

He says, “do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?…But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:25-27, 33).

And, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

COVID-19, you ain’t got nothin’ on us.

 


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