A Wilting Flower

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of shadowing an amazing teacher I know.  I was able to sit in her class and watch her in action.  First, let me just say that, not only is she an incredible teacher, she is far more profound than she realizes.  She taught a science lesson that I was to teach the next day, and right in the middle of it, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, completely unexpectedly, totally out of the blue – which is usually how He does.  

Her lesson was about plants, and she was reviewing the parts of a plant and explaining how they each function, and what happens when they don’t have what they need to function properly.  The specific lesson was about the stem and the flower, the flower being the pretty part of the plant and the stem being its support.  She explained how, when the stem is deprived of water, it begins to wilt and cannot hold up the flower anymore.  Immediately, I heard, “That is you.”  Huh??   “That is you. You currently are not getting the food and water you need, and you cannot hold up the beauty that it is your job to support.”

Instantly I knew what the Lord was saying.  For a very long time I have been exhausted, completely worn out, and a series of life events have drained me.  I have felt overwhelmed and unable to function normally, incapable of carrying out daily duties, things that are my job to do, even down to parenting well and being a good wife and mother.  I am always exhausted, always discombobulated (yes, that’s a word), and frustrated with myself.  I had been calling out to God in desperation, begging Him to fix me – to make me the kind of person I want to be – whole and complete, happy, joyful, together, disciplined, and for the most part, well, perfect – all the things I imagine everyone else around me to be.  I had even gone so far as to plead with Him on several occasions, “I know I am not supposed to say this to You, but PLEASE, Lord, WHY HAVE YOU MADE ME THUS??  I don’t understand!  If you want me to do what I am doing, then why on EARTH have you made me the way I am???  If you are going to require something of me, at the VERY least, you could have given me the tools to do it with!”  His answer?  At the time, complete silence.  I’m not sure what I have been expecting Him to say or do for me, but I definitely was not expecting an answer in the middle of observing a class.  And His answer was so simple.  “You need Me. I am the living water.  I am the bread of life.  You are neglecting your relationship with Me because you have allowed yourself to believe the lie that you must do, do, do in order to keep up.  As a result, you are hungry, you are thirsty, and you are wilting.  You cannot hold up the beauty I have placed in YOU, and you cannot hold up the beauty I have given you to care for.  It is that simple, and it is the only way.”

Did I hear all of that out loud?  Of course not; but as odd as it may seem, I heard every bit of that in a moment or two of time.  All from a science lesson.  And it clicked.  It made perfect sense.  Since then, I have made it a priority to spend time in His Word on a daily basis, no matter how overwhelmed and pressed for time I feel, and no matter how hard of a time I am having focusing on what I am reading.  At least I am being obedient.  No, I am not an over-night success-story, things haven’t miraculously turned around for me, and I am not suddenly all together and less scatter-brained (just ask my co-workers).  But my joy has returned.  And I can look up. And I am finding answers to my inability to focus, my ridiculously low self-esteem, and my fear of failure.  And somehow, no matter how much there is to do in a day, I am somehow accomplishing what is important and learning to let go of what is not.  And I believe it is because when we make time with our Maker a priority, He redeems the time.

I realize this is not a new concept for many who will read this.  It isn’t new for me, either.  It is simply a truth I seem to have to relearn on a regular basis.  The truth that, if we allow our focus to shift from God to the circumstances around us, we completely lose focus, forget what is important, and forget the good things He has done for us and the way He has already shown His provision in our lives.  Life is full of ups and downs, successes and failures, and I am sure He will have to teach me again.  Hopefully I’ll learn a little more quickly next time.  In the meantime, I am taking the lesson to heart, learning obedience, and doing my best to be the stem that transports the food and water that I am TAKING IN in order to give to the beauty I am presently called to support – the beauty of my husband and children, my students, and others He has placed in my world to pour into.  I cannot very well give what I have not received.

Thank You, Lord, for Your willingness to strive with me, even in the midst of my questioning and persistent wandering.  Please never cease to correct and discipline me as Your child, as I continue to learn what it means to walk with You.  What a privilege to belong to You and to be the object of Your love and attention.  You are my food and water and the very air I breathe.  When I find myself hungry and thirsty, remind me to turn to You.  Please continue to hold my hand as I walk with You on this journey to Beautiful.

*Written a few years ago.  Just came across it.  Great reminder…

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