Have you ever been reading your Bible, and all of a sudden you come across a passage and you seem frozen to it? You try and read on, but you find yourself going back to what you just read. Why am I drawn to this all of a sudden? I know I’ve certainly read it before!
One day that happened to me as I was reading Psalm 103:15-16 (NIV):
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
What exactly does that mean?
Now I don’t really think of myself as having a vivid imagination (some may argue with that), but as I started contemplating that passage, all of a sudden pictures started flowing around in my head. So, naturally, I wrote them down…
First off, I started thinking of what exactly grass and flowers need in order to flourish.
Well, for one, they need water. Without water they will quickly dry out and get icky brown.
They also need fertilizer to help get rid of the weeds and keep them looking lush.
But another thing, which sometimes we don’t really think about, is that your lawn and flowers need to be mowed and/or trimmed. The long and uneven stalks of grass need to be cut so your lawn stays looking well-manicured; and the dead flowers need to be plucked off to help the new blooms burst forth.
So as I was thinking about these things, all of a sudden it came to mind that we are indeed just like grass and flowers!
How, you ask?
Well first off, we need to stay watered and fertilized by reading and studying God’s word, such as is is written in Joshua 1:8 (NLT – emphasis mine):
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Without God’s Word, we will become dried out and dead. If we’re not taking the time to communicate with Him by hearing and obeying His words to us, we can fall easily into the trap of becoming like the world – easily blown away by the wind when every new “fad” comes along. How can we know what’s true and right if we aren’t taking the time to nurture ourselves by spending time with the One who knows more about us than anyone else?
Oh, but that’s not all.
We also need to be mowed and trimmed. We do this by cutting out all the unruly shoots that are starting to sprout – shoots like pridefulness, greed, covetousness, etc. We need to confess and repent of our sins (1 John 1:9) and get back to living the way that we should be living as children of the King. Otherwise we’ll become unruly, weedy, brown and just plain old ugly-looking.
Having a well-manicured lawn and flower garden is a lot of hard work, isn’t it? And so is living a flourishing life – which is how God wants us to live.
None of us know how much longer we have on this earth. Eventually we’ll all die and stand before God Almighty. I don’t know about you, but as much time as I have remaining, I want to thrive the best I can, living as God wants me to. I want people to hopefully remember me as someone who loved God and cared for others, and not be forgotten immediately once I’m laid to rest – blown away like the wind.
No, I’m certainly not perfect (I still have lots of unruly, ugly shoots that sprout up), but when those icky shoots start rearing their heads, I just call in the Master Pruner and ask Him to make me healthy and whole again. He can do the same for you.
Are you up to the challenge?