Monday, October 17, 2016

A Bountiful Harvest

This past weekend, my 17-year-old daughter helped me with collecting seeds from the many spent flowers in our backyard to share with friends, while I disassembled the vegetable beds. There were so many seeds that I was able to broadcast some in both my front and backyard and still have enough to share! She was amazed at how many seeds came from one Black-eyed Susan flower, much less one hundred of the spent flower heads. It was a bountiful harvest!
Not everybody likes Black-eyed Susan flowers. They can self-sow every year, and they do provide some lasting color with some drama to the garden. When they all bloom at once, they are an amazing show of color. When they die back, it’s a slow and ugly death. The stems and the flowers dry up and look pretty sad, but even in death, they provide seeds for the local birds and for the fly-by bird migrating south for the winter. I’m so glad they are in my garden.
This past Friday my husband and I attended the memorial for one of our church members. A young boy, a month away from being seven, died of cancer after fighting a year with multiple tumors on his spine and in his brain. Some would say that he lived a short life. Some would say that he died too young, and yet others would say his short little life touched hundreds of others. That’s what I say because he touched mine.
I’m standing on the scripture found in Psalms 139:16, “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” The Message
How marvelous that we are like flowers in His garden. Here for a time, for a season, maybe more, yet God has written those days in His book. I believe that the days are written by God, but what we do with our lives fills the pages and brings the story of our lives into others to bless, to encourage, to lift up, to enjoy. Flowers die and so do we. Sometimes it’s hard to watch it happen, but for those like me who believe, only our flesh dies. Our spirits are returned to God to be safely ensconced until we can all be together again. Philippians 1:21, “we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” NASB
Just like that one flower head that had an abundance of seeds, that six-year-old boy left behind a ton of blessings for years to come. His mom bravely got up and spoke of how her son’s life impacted many by his love for others and his willingness to share his possessions as he knew that he was headed home to heaven. He touched the lives of teachers and hospital staff, friends, and family and all who knew him in the year that he bravely fought his battle with cancer, and he won! What? You ask. He won? How did someone who was dying of cancer win? He is now in heaven, fully healed! No more pain, no more suffering, and cancer didn’t win. We will be like Him, healed and whole.
Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Being a cancer survivor myself, I look for a complete healing in heaven someday. Until then, I will bloom where I’m planted and continue to bless others with as much goodness as possible, for He has written all my days in His book.