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Weed or Sunflower?

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11

At my house we have a very active bird feeder on our deck that overhangs landscape rock down below it. Each spring and all summer long, birds busily fly to and fro from the bright green backdrop of trees that grow behind our house. It is quite a site to see. We get such a variety; cardinals, gold finch, chickadees, woodpeckers, orioles and even rose breasted grouse beak appear. As they busily munch on the black seed in the feeder, much of it falls down to the rock below.

Eventually these little black seeds turn into sprouts. I used to busy myself pulling up all those pesky little green shoots that look like a bed of weeds. One year I just couldn’t get out there to pull up them up. By the time I did, how surprised I was to find so many bright yellow sunflowers growing tall and beautiful and seemingly smiling at me. What a gift!

Now, I never clear out these little sprouts that shoot up from the mess that the sweet little song birds leave behind. Instead, I let them go and eventually a beautiful garden of sunflowers appear! However, I have to wait and endure a season of looking at a large, random clump of growth that looks like a bed of weeds before it turns into these golden yellow blooms of sunshine.

Life is no different. Sometimes things come our way that we did not plant or “plan” on. In fact, many things come into our life that feel like “weeds in our garden”; illness, physical pain, job loss, relationship struggles, etc. The list is long and they most certainly all come without our permission. Instinctively, we want to rip them all out as fast as we can and as soon as they arrive.

However, these struggles and hardships produce something beautiful in our lives in God’s time.

God promises that He will use all things for good for those who love Him and are called for His purpose.

And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Plus, these hardships do something inside of us that could never be done without them.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:1-5

Don’t believe the lie that God planted these into your life. God is only good and never plants trouble or pain into our lives. The enemy does it. God may allow it, but He certainly doesn't bring it. He is good and His mercy endures forever.

However, only God who can take what looks like a weed and turn it into a sunflower!

There may be a long period of waiting and all you can see are weeds. Or, maybe God will take what look like weeds in your life and use it to bring sunflowers into someone else's life because of the suffering that you have endured.

Do you have what looks like a bed of weeds in your garden? Can you patiently endure until God uses it all for good? Hold tight to Him, my friend! Trust. Rest. Spend time in His word and wait on His timing.

Pray with me…

Heavenly Father,

You are good, only good! Your timing is perfect and You waste not an ounce of suffering in our lives. We know that You don’t cause our suffering and we rejoice that as we love and trust You that You will use it all for our good. You are so faithful! Help us to lean in close when the pain won’t stop, when the fear overwhelms us, and all that our eyes can see are weeds. Help us to patiently endure until the sunflowers show their golden blooms and greet use with a smile. Help us to hold unto You and cling to Your Word. Let it seep deeply into the crevices of our heart until all fear is gone! In Jesus Name

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