April 15, 2013 by John Nicholas Prassas
“Hey, Chrissie! Stop and smell the roses.” The young mother called after her 12-year old daughter scampering away with a friend to explore the shopping center.
The mother chuckled and said, “Just look at all the pretty flowers,” and waved the girls on with a nod to some colorful landscaping and blossoming plants on sale in front of the grocery store nearby.
The daughter responded with her best “Whatever!” shrug and ran off.
I laughed as I watched the woman walk away, shaking her head.
Flowers are beautiful. But they are much more than that.
Flowers possess the divine capacity to calm our spirits, inspire our souls and uplift our emotions. I’m guessing they lower our blood pressure and pulse rate, too, if we’ll take a moment to behold them.
I don’t know the names of all the flowers I enjoy, or even all the flowers I water or occasionally plant in our yard for my wife, Suzi.
More than anything, however, flowers boost my faith. Why?
Jesus once said in Matt 6:27,
“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.”
Lilies of the field don’t have to strive in order to grow and flourish, and neither do we as children of God.
Jesus told us we can trust our heavenly Father to provide for us in ways that can replace our anxieties with peace and confidence.
Just last week I experienced a serious ‘reality check’ about all of this.
Facing a flurry of urgent and mostly unexpected business and personal expenses on top of several delayed income payments, I found myself scrambling for resources to meet my deadlines and obligations, with no answer in sight.
Without a thought towards God’s provision I began striving to arrange a high interest ‘bridge loan’ to address my situation, but was having no luck. I was willing to pay almost any % rate to bridge the gap, but time was running out as the weekend neared fraught with looming payments due on Monday, with a ‘train wreck’ of repercussions if I missed them.
Suddenly my attitude shifted as my spirit blossomed with faith. Without seeing a single answer on the horizon, I surrendered my need to ‘make it happen’ and somehow gained a childlike confidence that God my Father could somehow help.
This wasn’t the old, “Please God, please God, please God!” desperation we all know too well. It was more of a mentality ‘shift’ or course correction encouraged by God’s Spirit, to adopt a corrected attitude of faith, knowing nothing is too big or too small for God to notice and address in miraculous fashion. All things are possible.
Literally the next day’s mail arrived with completely unexpected 0% interest checks from an account I had paid off and forgotten about months before. The perfect bridge loan had arrived out of left field – apparently from where those lilies grow!
Coincidence? Maybe. But I’ve see more than my share of divine ‘coincidences’ over the years involving every kind of provision – houses, cars, jobs, cash, trips and more.
I’ve decided to nickname this phenomenon in which God provides in ways that far exceed any effort or ability we can muster, ‘Flower Power,’ and I invite you to join me in adopting that faith-building perspective.
More important than any nickname, of course, is the amazing nature of God, which is what Jesus came to convey and impart to us.
He didn’t tell us to quit our jobs or bail on our responsibilities, but he did tell us to look at the flowers of the field and learn from them, to cultivate a bold yet childlike confidence in our heavenly Father who knows what we need.
It’s time we stop and smell the roses – and behave like children of the King.
Thank you, heavenly Father for sending Jesus to show and tell us about you and your ways. Thank you for using flowers to calm and inspire us and to remind us that you provide miraculously. Replace our anxiety with faith and confidence in you, we pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Got any related thoughts or experiences? Please comment at bottom of page.
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