“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
Yesterday I was weeding the garden, when I saw, to my delight, that some stargazer lilies I planted as bulbs many months ago have bloomed. I know this might not seem like a big deal to some, but to me, who is not exactly what you’d call green fingered, it’s nothing short of miraculous. This reminded me of the scripture in Luke, where Jesus said “consider the lilies.” So I did just that – I sat for a little while, and thought about the lilies: the wild variety we have, growing under our garden hedges, my new stargazers, and my old, established arums.
Consider the lilies
Many people struggle with purpose and calling, worrying and fretting about the future, financial security, longing for clarity, or striving for recognition or affirmation from peers and leaders. If you are battling any of these today, take heart from Jesus’ words, and “consider the lily.”
They don’t work or make their clothing
By this, Jesus wasn’t suggesting we shouldn’t work. Jesus was talking about striving to take care of our own needs, our family, the future, rather than trusting God with those things – entrusting them to Him.
The lily is beautiful and fragrant. But it cannot be either of these unless it takes root and becomes established where it is planted. More importantly, once established, most lilies propagate, and form ‘colonies’. If you think about it, how often do you see just a single lily, growing all alone?
Years ago, when we first moved into our house, I planted some arum lilies. Just a small clump of four, transplanted from our old house because I couldn’t bear to leave them behind. These have now spread to the extent that I can fill vases with them in the house and still enjoy them in the garden.
Many people flit from one church to another, from job to job, relationship to relationship, even across countries, never truly taking root anywhere. As long as we work and strive to ‘make our own clothes,’ we will find it difficult to take root and become established.
God will establish and take care of you
We read this at the start: “if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.”
Even more than the lily, God will plant you, ‘water’ you, take tender care of you, and establish you. You are created to grow and flourish under His care, wherever He has planted you. No one knows you as intimately He does, so who knows better where you will flourish best?
And, lastly, like the lily you are created to grow together with other lilies, and to ‘spread’, emanating the beautiful fragrance in you, that is Jesus. What a beautiful picture of the church!