9.01.2009

Morning Flower

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Morning Glory

I don't have a green thumb. Right now I'm procrastinating in repotting the one plant I own because I'm afraid I'm going to kill it. It might just have to survive in a cracked pot and ten-year-old soil for another year. I think the safer approach to keeping my philodendron alive and beautiful is to invest in some plant food . . .

I'm thankful, though, that there's Someone that isn't intimidated by transplants. God's done thousands of them. But not on flower bushes and potted plants. His expertise is in the transplanting of a person's heart. The day we asked Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, out came the old sinful heart and in came a beautiful perfect heart. The process was painless and quick without the use of a spade or gardening gloves. It was a complete and perfect work that only God could do.

Unfortunately, that beauty on the inside needs a little help showing up on the outside. Our minds and bodies still crave the things we used to do before the “great transplant.” The alarm clock still makes us cranky at six in the morning. Packing in an excess of German Chocolate cake and Oreo ice cream is still an overwhelming temptation. Somehow we still manage to snap when things don't go our way, and we just can't pass up that juicy bit of gossip. Suddenly, we don't feel so beautiful. In fact, if anyone were to ask, we'd call ourselves downright ugly. So we find a dark corner and sulk . . . because who could possibly see anything beautiful in all that?

Think about the Morning Glory flower. You know, the fast-growing vine with heart shaped flowers that could beautify even the ugliest fence? They always seem to be so happy and cheerful when we manage to get out of bed and peer out the window. Or at least they'd like to make us think they're always that way. But they have a secret – in the dark, they're not as beautiful as they could be. In fact, their petals close up the moment the sun stops shining. Darkness sets in and they become shy and introverted. Gone is the glorious color we enjoyed in the daylight.

We can be like that Morning Glory in the dark, closed up and afraid to show our faces because of the flaws we see in ourselves. But God never wanted us to be that way. He created us to be so much more than a closed, timid flower. Despite the flaws we see in ourselves, God has always seen our potential for being beautiful like Him. Even when we feel the ugliest because of the way we've acted, He still sees the beauty – the glory – that He placed in us.

Let's take a peak at 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

I also like how the Message Bible puts it: “Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”

If we watched a Morning Glory at dawn, we'd see it acting not much different than the rest of us – in no hurry to wake up and get out of bed. As the sun pours down it's warmth, the Morning Glory slowly opens it's petals. A little stretch here, a little yawn there, and we see a full flower sporting its lovely colors. What seems like a sudden event to the neighborhood has now blossomed into reality.


We're not much different. Like a Morning Glory gives way to the morning light, change in our lives takes place step by step. The progress is “brighter and brighter, from glory to glory.” When we spend time with our Heavenly Father – basking in His sunshine – the irritating flaws, annoying character traits, and selfish habits start to slip away. His Spirit works in our hearts, transforming us from a struggling flower to a confident bloom. We wake up one morning and realize that under those crumpled petals is a color deeper than we ever imagined possible.