As the little seed began to sprout, she found herself surrounded in darkness. Only a very thin slit of light broke through the barrier above her head. Whispers filled the darkness. “She doesn’t belong here!” “Who does she think she is?!” “We are the weeds and this is our soil!” “The flower must not survive!”
Every day the fragile plant endured the harsh comments. She was determined. She was persistent. Even when the weeds stole the extra moisture and hoarded the soil’s nutrients, she never gave up. Every day she grew a little more. Every day she focused on the surface and kept pushing toward the light.
It was early morning when the flower and the weeds first pushed their heads above the asphalt surface. Nothing but a vast wasteland stretched out before them.
“A parking lot?! You’ve got to be kidding! We’re growing in a parking lot!” The cynical weeds began to moan, “We can’t survive here!” “What kind of life will this be?!” “I wish I could just die and go back to the shadows,” one complained. And they all bent their heads toward the ground.
Unlike the weeds that surrounded her, the little flower looked up. She caught sight of the sun. With a long, satisfying exhale she exclaimed, “Awh, the warmth! The beauty! The light! I am so very blessed to be here! It’s going to be a good day!”
Throughout the morning, the weeds continued to murmur while the flower continued to praise.
About noon, as the sun was high in the sky, the little flower began sensing an odd instinctive feeling from deep within her. The warmth of the day pulled at her. The longing to reach out and touch the sun was overwhelming. Slowly, one by one, her beautiful petals began to uncurl. Each of them opened itself to the blessing of Heaven. Each of them stretched toward the light.
At the very moment that the little flower launched herself into full bloom, a man was walking through the hospital parking lot. His heart was heavy and his mind was distracted, yet out of the corner of his eye the fragile beauty drew his attention. “Hello, little one,” he whispered as he diverted his path in her direction. “What are you doing out here in the middle of a parking lot? You should be growing in a beautiful garden, not through a crack in the asphalt!”
The man knelt beside the flower.
“You remind me so much of my daughter,” he said with a lump in his throat. “Even now my little girl lies in a hospital bed just up there. Her body is failing, but her spirit is so bright. Every morning she awakens to more tests and probings, injections, and discouraging news. Yet, every morning she smiles at me. She opens her arms wide, hugs me tight, and says, “Look, Daddy, the sun is shining. Today is going to be a good day!”
For a long time the man just knelt there in silence. His mind seemed to be in two places at once. A tear on his cheek and a smile on his face. A daughter in the hospital and a flower in the parking lot. All odd combinations of life.
Finally, the man broke the silence with an almost inaudible whisper, “Little flower, you are so much like my fragile warrior. I must take you to meet her!”
And as he said it, the man began chipping away at the crack in the parking lot. “Take us! Take us, too,” said the weeds. But moments later, it was only the flower that found herself being pulled from the asphalt prison.
“This coffee cup will have to do,” said the man with a smile. “But I promise, when we get to her room, I will plant you in the most beautiful vase I can find. Little flower, you are a blessing! My daughter is going to be so surprised! Patience is going to love you!”
James 5:7-8 (NIV) “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
Patience – Inner toughness when provoked to change.
Biblical patience is far more than just a slowed pace or a sacrificed schedule in order to meet the needs of others. This patience draws from a determined will emboldened by a partnership with the Holy Spirit.
The world’s hurried pace weakens our resolve and distracts us from the need to develop this inner muscle. In order to gain spiritual sinew, we must spend more time in God’s gym. We must work out regularly under the tutelage of Heaven’s ultimate Trainer, the Holy Spirit.
Your living witness to the power of the Holy Spirit (Patience) may be the one thing most necessary to help your friends understand how to survive the coming onslaught of spiritual compromise. Time is short. Live like their tomorrow depends upon you! Make it real!
Note: Sharing these Sonny Day Devos is a great way to open doors for conversations about God and His values. Just follow these simple steps:
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The story above was taken from the book, “Sonny Day Devos” by Sonny Childs. This heartwarming collection of short stories is sure to inspire happy thoughts and healthy applications.
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