Listen to this devotional:
Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)
I have many peony plants in my flower beds. Each one has special meaning. Two I have in memory of my dad who passed away a few years ago. One is in memory of my mom who has been gone for many years. Still another was given to me by my mother-in-law. The rest I dug from the flower garden of one of my best friends who has since moved away. I love my peonies. The blossoms have been huge this year. They are beautiful.
While there were still buds on the plants, I was anticipating the day when they would be in full bloom. I kept watching daily. On a really hot day, I could almost see some of them opening as the day progressed.
I thought about how they are so much like us. God's desire is for us to bloom. We do open up bit by bit like the peonies. Some of us bloom quickly. Some of us bloom more slowly. I wonder if those of us who are enduring some heat (like my peonies on that hot day) bloom more quickly. Heat can come in many forms — a misunderstanding in a relationship, the death of someone near to us, a wayward dear friend or family member, an accident, or health problems — to name a few.
I believe God allows some heat in our lives to help us to bloom. That is His work in our hearts, and He will continue to do so until we see Him face to face in glory.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the flowers that You have made for us to enjoy. When we see them blooming, may we ever be mindful of Your purpose in our lives. Help us to look beyond the heat, knowing You are helping us to bloom. You are building character in us. Help us to relax in that knowledge, knowing that as buds, we are opening more and more each day. Thank You. Amen.