Forcing the Flower

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Spring provides a wonderful object lesson in the patient process of waiting for a bud to become a flower.  All around things are beginning to burst into full bloom and seeds are beginning to push up from the ground and show their green shoots. This is an exciting time to see the potential all around as the buds begin to swell and provide hints at what is underneath. The time it takes for that shoot or bud to become a fully mature plant can be long. Sometimes, it is hard to wait, and the temptation is to pry open that bud just to see what’s inside.  

Most adults know you can’t force a flower to open any sooner by pulling the bud apart, but a child is unaware and is overcome by the curiosity of what is inside. Once forced apart and pried open before its’ time the bud becomes a mangled mess and will never become a beautiful and fully mature flower. The lesson seems simple enough when left to flowers and seeds but becomes much more challenging when applied to our own lives and plans. 

In our lives sometimes we can see the bud of something that could come to us and be a beautiful flower. For some, it may be a new job, a move, a new baby or a relationship. The hint of the new or exciting thing is thrilling and the temptation is to drive as hard as possible to get that flower open as fast as possible. Waiting is hard and it is not fun. That bud can be so tempting to just push a little to make it become what we want as fast as possible. 

When we wait for a flower to open we are expectant, but patient. We trust that the natural process will unfold at the right time and the flower will unfold in beauty and fragrance. If we belong to God, and he is the Lord of our life then we are a bud, waiting to fully open in his timing. Sometimes we are given hints and peeks at the flower, but we have to wait for his process to unfold in us.  Ecclesiastes tells us, “he has made everything beautiful in its time”(Ecc 3:11 NIV).  Just like the bud gives a hint of the beauty inside in our own lives we may have a glimpse of the potential that we need to patiently wait for God’s time. 

It is so easy to see that hint of beauty and potential and rush to force it faster. Quiet and patient expectation is a challenge for all of us, especially when accustomed to the ability to receive instant gratification. If God is in charge of your life than you can wait for him to make everything beautiful in his time. We also have the promise that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus: (Phil 1:6 NIV). All around as we watch the object lesson of bud to flower let’s apply this to our own life so that we can wait expectantly for God’s time. He who began the buds of hope and potential will carry them through to their full completion. 

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