Lilies of numerous varieties are blooming all around town. Friends have sent me gorgeous and amazing pictures. Lilies in our own yard are smiling and reminding us that, no matter how horrible the national news may be, God’s still on His throne. The day lilies right now are making a show. Several observations come to mind concerning these lilies.
Day lilies, as their descriptive name indicates, bloom only for a day. I brought some blossoms in the house, purposely picking stalks that had nice buds as well as blooms so there would be new ones the next day. I made the mistake years ago of using day lilies for a centerpiece at an evening supper party. They drooped way before the guests went home. But, I learned, this is not always the case. The ones I cut this week were still beautiful at 10:00. Then, the next morning, I walked into the kitchen and there were the spent yesterday’s blooms but, at 6:00 a.m., the new ones had already opened up bright and perky. Think about it. From 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. is a pretty long work day.
Still–it was only a day. I’m amazed at the intricate detail in each blossom, each petal, the vivid colors, and the designs that outshine any dressmaker’s creations. Our Master spent that much attention on flowers that would only bloom for one day? How much more attention he spends on the “apple of his eye,” humans!
Another observation on the short-lived lily. It does exactly what it was made to do during that one day. It blooms even on cloudy days. It puts forth knock-out perfection. It doesn’t talk or walk, worry or whine. It just blooms.
Did I say it doesn’t worry? That’s what Jesus said about the lily: “Consider the lilies; they toil not, neither do they spin. Yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
The lily, you say, has nothing to worry about. It has rain and sunshine and soil, it has daylight and dark, winter and spring. We, on the other hand, have many things to worry about–food, shelter, health, jobs, children, the state of the world, the future. But Jesus told his disciples not to worry, but to make their requests known to the Father, to forget trying to solve everything on their own and lean instead on the all-wise, all-powerful King of all Kings. Planning is good. Striving to do our best is good. Caring for one another is good. But worry? Worry causes deep wrinkles in our faces and in our health. I Peter 5:7 says: “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”
The casting of our cares on Him is a daily exercise; it doesn’t come naturally. Case in point, yesterday while I was writing this, I became drawn into a troubling situation and, yes, I worried! Then I looked at what I’d written in this blog and had to laugh. Leaning on Him is a daily and even hourly discipline.
Which leads me back to the day lilies. We plant the bulbs in beds, or rows, or just scattered about beside trees or bird baths. We put them where we want them. We divide the bulbs some years which makes them thrive. We share them with others or replant them to increase the number of gorgeous blooms. I remember my mother and her sister giggling in delight as they exchanged bulbs and other plants and vegetables. We brought some of our favorite lilies to our new home when we moved. If a friend, or relative, gives you a bulb, you remember that friend when your lily blooms.
As God, our Master Gardener, cultivates us we, too, can bloom where He plants us or be moved to other places. We can be used to spread the message of His goodness abroad. Sometimes the cultivation can be painful. But in God’s hands it can always bring forth beautiful blossoms.
Even in a pandemic, whether caused by Heaven or Hell, God is in the business of cultivating His human “lilies” to produce more beauty, to spread His mercy.
There is one other consideration of the lilies I want to mention. Charles is very good at discovering lilies forgotten in a thick growth of shrubs or hiding in a scramble of vines and rattlesnake weed. He so tenderly rescues the poor forgotten lilies and brings them to a safe garden with the others or plants them in a spot where a dash of color is needed. He has had a lot more time lately to clear overgrown corners and discover forgotten lilies.
God cares for the “forgotten” humans, too, more than they will ever know, especially if no one tells them.
I have always been enthralled with the majesty and mystery of day lilies. Years ago when I was “into” writing haikus, I penned this poem: If anything awes me more/Than a towering snow peak/It’s the golden heart of a lily.