This morning the Lord brought a practical illustration to my mind that I trust will help to encourage you as it did me—from just a little thing in life. In my pastor’s devotional, he reminded us of the practical application of Ecclesiastes 3:1, where Solomon the preacher wisely said, "for everything there is a season." Indeed, that is true. In everything God’s hand is evident, His power can be seen and His Truth clear, His timing and planning perfect—if we but open our eyes and see.
On Friday, I was outside raking leaves, trimming berry bushes and enjoying the sunshine of God’s creation. In our front flowerbed is the bird bath. Last fall, I removed the basin from the pedestal and leaned it against the well casing to protect it during the freezing and thawing of winter. I was ready to put the basin back on the pedestal when I noticed that peeking from behind the basin were green daffodil tips that looked like all the other strong and blooming plants around it. I was excited that perhaps behind this cement basin I would find a large clump of healthy and ready-to-bloom daffodils. So I proceeded to pick up the cement bird bath basin and, to my amazement, there was a very large clump of daffodils with the tips in bud waiting to bloom in a few days.
Here’s where God showed me an eternal biblical truth that can apply to each of us who have a fear of God and are being redirected in our lives and thoughts during this virus epidemic.
When I put the basin back on the pedestal, I saw daffodils, as tall as all the others, with stems, and buds about to bloom. But here’s the lesson. As soon as I removed the basin, which had provided a shield for the daffodils, they immediately fell over. Growing in the shadow of the basin, blocked from the sun, the stalks were yellow and white, full of potential, identical DNA as those growing in the full sun, but yet unable to stand erect. Protected and shielded from the wind, the sun, and the pressures of normal life, these daffodils were still daffodils. They had a common God-designed purpose and potential but could never realize all that God had intended hidden behind the basin. The tips I saw peeking out from behind the basin were as green as the others around, and they would have bloomed as vibrantly yellow as the others. But when the artificial protection of the basin was removed, they were unable to stand.
You can see the lesson, I'm sure. The winds, the beating rain, the sun and normal life that confronts us all are necessary for strength and resilience, for color and for beauty, as God intends for us.
This coronavirus with its threat of pain or death, economic hardship and uncertainty for some and an altered lifestyle for all, could well be that bird bath basin now removed.
The normally certain guarantees, assumptions, and protections we’ve enjoyed for so long are nice, but their removal is sometimes part of God’s plan. There’s a season for everything. There’s a reason for everything. Therefore, be anxious for nothing. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin.” (Matthew 6:28) Our Father above knows our needs. He will take care of us.
Now back to the daffodils. The photographs I took still show a weakly clump of daffodils. Yet when I removed the basin two days ago, the daffodils were exposed to the sun and wind for the first time. They had no choice in the matter. I as the gardener decided that the basin needed to be placed back in position for the value it would add for the birds who use it and the beauty it affords for us when we look at it.
These daffodils had their security removed, and some would say "how sad.” Yet, their God-designed beauty was being prevented, and they now have a chance to stand up, turn their natural color, and open their blooms to the world. I suppose that within another week, they will be standing stronger and greener than they are now. God’s purpose for us in this life is to reflect His beauty, His strength, and the hope and glory of our Creator. Difficulty and less than pleasant circumstances are often how God designs His perfect plan to evidence to the world around the power of His saving grace and wonderful plan of redemption to be shown through us.
I pray that as we continue into the coronavirus dislocations, that we thank God for Who He is, all He does, and pray that we can reflect His magnificent glory. For everything there is a season—and a reason!
The Hon. Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discusses today’s pressing issues. He was a Pennsylvania lawmaker for 18 years and hosts the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program on more than 400 stations and Host of the “Stand in the Gap” national television program.