I was out of town this past week and our Children’s Pastor shared a devotional with our church. It was a good reminder that we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. I decided to share it with you here on my blog. I hope it encourages you:
One of my favorite things about summer in Oregon are the sunflowers. Since I enjoyed them so much, I bought some seeds and planted them along my fence a few years ago. Every year these giant beauties will grow taller than my fence, getting the attention of my neighbors. I love watching them grow and seeing bees reap the benefits of these amazing flowers. Last year, my neighbor mentioned that bees, when they are far from the hive in the evening, will actually sleep in the blossom of a sunflower. This made me love and appreciate sunflowers even more!
One of the ways that I connect deeply with God is through nature and the sunflower is no exception. I love watching the growing flower heads turn so that they will receive the most possible sun. This made me think about us as human beings. We are created for relationship with God, and with others. In order for us to grow to our fullest potential, to be of utmost benefit, we need to be facing Him. And to do that, we need to be following Him. This is an active process for a sunflower that happens every day, starting by facing the east at sunrise, following the sun to the west for sunset, and then returning to face the east before the next morning.
This is a great image for us of what our relationship with God should look like: starting and finishing the day by facing Him through prayer and scripture, and following Him throughout the day in rhythms of grace and thanksgiving. In this intimate following and growing process, God uses each of us for a very specific purpose in His plan.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10
We have work to do, but we can’t do it unless we following the One who created us. Our growing and giving process will continue until we meet Jesus face to face. This is seen in the life of the sunflower as well. Sunflowers only stop following the sun when they reach maturity, this is also the time when they cease being maximally beneficial, culminating in the final act of sacrifice by dispersing seeds to continue their work. Until that day, though, we, much like the sunflower, will continue to grow and bless others by following and keeping our eyes on Jesus.