Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When to Pick a Flower…According to God

Life imitates nature. Nature teaches life lessons. Nature reflects God. 

Flowers are no exception. With Valentine’s Day this month, beautiful flowers are in every store. They symbolize love for another, attraction for another, and they are given to show affection. 
How then do you pick a flower? Well, for those of us in winter right now, the picking has been done for us! However, it’s good to know when to pick flowers from their environment so we can enjoy them to their fullest extent.

"Choose flowers that are just coming into full bloom for picking. If you pick the flowers before this, there is a risk that they will be too immature to open their buds. And if they’re picked well into bloom or towards the end of blooming, they’ll fade fast on display in just water. Older blooms will drop petals and pollen everywhere, creating a mess in your house."

Recently I talked with a young person who was struggling with a loss of a friend in a car accident. She also just before lost another friend to cancer. She is having a hard time understanding how God works because she and so many people prayed for her friend with cancer and the girl still died. Why does God allow those things? It’s so unfair.

It is difficult sometimes for us to see the big picture and to remember that there is something after this life. The loss of a loved one has caused more than one person I know to turn completely away from God, blaming Him (to the point of denying His existence) for allowing it to happen. 

I’ve heard the phrase, “This life is not to be coveted.” That is hard to wrap our heads around, but it doesn’t make it less true. 

In many books, including Heaven Is For Real, the person experiencing the life after life moment does not want to come back. They have found a completely different world, a completely different life so rich, so comforting, that it is sometimes painful to come back to this restricted 3D existence of pain and loss.

St. Therese of Lisieux had this to say, “Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away from the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.
...And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus’ garden…Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.”

So we are all flowers. And God picks us when we are the most beautiful to Him, the time when we are closest to Him. For some, this time is early on, for others, it is much later. But the important thing to remember is that God will pick us when we are ready. Instead of looking at death as a tragedy, we need to see it as a victory. 

When my grandmother was wheelchair bound after living 90 years on her own, she started to despair. No longer could she take care of herself. She relied on others and this was a constant heartache for her. At one point, she started to think God had forgotten her. What she didn’t realize is that in those last days, when she had to rely on others, she converted many souls to God through her example of prayerful suffering. Those people still remember her today. God took her at her best.

God never forgets us and He picks us at our peak…just as He picks the flowers of the fields.

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