Recently, a dear friend volunteered to decorate the tables for our staff end-of-school-year luncheon. I did not give her many parameters because she is so gifted in this area, but I told her that I wanted beautiful flowers in the center of each table. She chose tulips! On the morning of our luncheon, she sent me a message that said, “I’m hoping they will really open up today and do their ‘thing’- reach towards the sun/light.”
As I’ve shared before, I’m growing in my knowledge of growing plants and flowers so, while I’ve noticed tulips are often not upright in vases, I never thought about why. This was another one of those moments where I felt like I was supposed to learn something new that would also point me to a truth about God.
Here’s what I learned….
Tulips are phototropic, meaning they will grow and move (often bend) in their search for light. I am sure it wasn’t a coincidence that I learned this new fact about tulips at the end of May (now commonly referred to as “Maycember”), and I found myself weary from the busy and exciting events that filled the month. In times of weariness, I tend to focus on myself- particularly my weaknesses and brokenness. Like tulips, I was in search of Light. God so lovingly reminded me of His truth:
Charles Spurgeon wrote,
“How frequently you who are coming to Christ look to yourselves. “Oh,” say you, “I do not repent enough!” That is looking to yourself. “I do not believe enough!” That is looking to yourself. “I am too unworthy.” That is looking to yourself. “I cannot discover,” says another, “that I have any righteousness.” It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness, but it is quite wrong to look for any….Look to Him, look at Him, study Him, know all you can about Him, meditate upon Him.”
God, the lifter of our heads, gave us Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. He came into the world as light so that whoever believes in Him may not remain in darkness.
Helen Lemmel wrote one of my favorite hymns, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, in 1922. Reading it along with my new knowledge of the tulip was a blessing to me, and I hope it is for you.
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Throughout this summer, let us all, as the beloved tulip, find hope and growth by looking away from ourselves and towards our Light.