I’m an amateur photographer and my specialty is taking nature photos. I enjoy snapping pictures of animals in their natural habitats. My favorite subject, though, are flowers. The variety and color of flowers are evidence to me of God’s awesome creative power. What artist can adequately capture their beauty and intricacy on canvas? As gorgeous as flowers are, though, their time to bloom is limited by the seasons. A fierce summer with unrelenting heat can shorten the lives of flowers causing them to wilt or die. As soon as the harshness of fall arrives, petals shrivel and wither and fall to the ground. The brutal winter winds with ice and snow bury them. Their time is limited but with the warm caresses of the sun, plentiful rain and healthy soil they return again to splendidly brighten the starkness of an open field or hill.
The book of Isaiah teaches us an important lesson about our lives and flowers. In Isaiah 40:6-8 God is instructing Isaiah on what to say to the people of Israel. He tells Isaiah, “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is the like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall because the breath of the Lord blows on them.” Our faithfulness to God is like the flowers. As long as the conditions are right and we are receiving the benefits of God, we bloom and enjoy the pleasures of life. As soon as the winds change, the sun hides behind clouds and our water supply dries up, our faithfulness is tested. We wither and fall. We fade away because our faithfulness has been dependent on receiving the benefits.
God is not content to leave us lying like broken petals on the ground. In Isaiah 40:8 he reminds Isaiah of a vital fact. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, BUT the word of our God endures forever.” Even when we surrender to the harshness of life around us, God’s word is eternal. God’s promises are eternal. Our trials, disappointments and failures don’t need to turn us into faithless, fading flowers. The light of God’s love shines eternally, he is always there to give us sustenance and we can bloom forever if we put our trust in him. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He has promised to take care of our needs. Will you choose to be a fading flower today or a glorious, brilliant bloom stretching your arms toward God in faith?