Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Lily Of The Valley"1 (Lyrics)
Until we moved to Canada, my dad was a rose grower. When he built his first greenhouse in the early 1930s, he supplemented his income by growing a fair-sized plot of Lilies of the Valley. They were easy to grow outside and bloomed early. I have a picture of myself as a one-year-old, more or less, sitting in the midst of them. The flowers were and are still being used in weddings and religious ceremonies, so I read. They symbolize purity and happiness.
The scientific name is Convalaria majalis, and it is a perennial plant that often forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems. New upright shoots are formed each summer. In the spring, these grow into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to other shoots underground. The stems grow to 10 to 25 centimetres (4 to 10 inches) and have five to fifteen flowers on each stem.
We have some in the flowerbed behind our house. However, we did not plant them. They came over from the neighbour's garden behind us. They were abundant in Israel of old, and Jesus refers to them when He counsels us not to worry:
Luke 12:27 – Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (NKJV)
In our garden, we see that we don't have to do anything to keep them, and yet every spring, they show up and bloom again, and their little white flowers are beautiful indeed. As a matter of fact, there are more all the time.
Jesus is often referred to as the "Lily of the Valley", based on this verse:
Song of Solomon 2:1 – I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. (NKJV)
Charles W. Fry (1838-1882) wrote a beautiful hymn based on this passage:
- I've found a friend in Jesus, He's everything to me,
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He's my comfort, in trouble He's my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.
He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
The lilies, in all their beauty, show up after a long winter. When we go through spiritual winters in our lives — periods of physical or psychological difficulty, or when we are bogged down by the cares and worries of this world — then we are assured that Jesus is there for us always, and faith in Him will bring happiness in our lives. We do not need to worry.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the beauty of nature in all its forms and shapes, which reminds us of Your care for us. Most of all, we thank You for Jesus our Lord, and we offer this prayer in His name. Amen.