You can be certain that prized purple tulips are not worried if they will bloom in time to host a baby shower. Prized purple tulips are not worried they could lose a petal. Prized purple tulips are not even worried about life-threatening April snow. They just yield to the One who grows them and focus on bringing God glory. I want to be like that. Don’t you? So if the earth yields to God, why can’t I? Because I’m human. I’m stubborn. I have worries. I have what-ifs. I want to be able to give it all to God when storms threaten, but I get caught up in the worries of the moment.
I woke up to beautiful snow this morning, truly a reason to marvel at God’s wonders, but my first thought was, “Oh no, my tulips!” And then a one-sided, downhill conversation began in my head. “Why would it snow? It’s April. It’s not supposed to snow. This is such crazy weather; it just doesn’t make any sense. I have worked so hard in my yard. Lord, everything has just begun to bloom, why would it snow and take it all away? And Oh no, I’m hosting a baby shower in a couple of weeks, nothing will be in bloom at my front door to greet my guests! Wh..wh..”
I jumped out of bed and sprung into action. I grabbed trash bags and a pair of shoes left by the door. I scrambled to shield the endangered blooms. With my last bag, I bent down and checked the vitals of my favorite purple Tulips, cupping its elegant head in my hands. At that moment, I saw the humor of my salvaging frenzy. That beautiful tulip was not worried one bit about freezing to death, and certainly not about her upcoming role of front door hospitality. She was simply yielding to God at that moment and weathering the storm.
What a site I must have been to anyone who witnessed a crazy woman running around her yard with trash bags, wearing non matching pajamas and feet hanging off the backs of shoes that were clearly too small because they belonged to her son. Oh to be as faithful in yielding to God as this delicate spring flower. As I looked around my yard, I didn’t see a single flower who had chosen to simply throw itself on the ground convinced it was just going to die anyway. No, as I looked around my yard, each and every bloom gracefully yielded to their Creator as the snow kissed each one of their tiny heads. But what would I do in that same situation? My honest answer is that I have a stubborn heart sometimes, and on more than one occasion, I have claimed a hopeless outcome before the storm has even passed. I have a history of giving up and wilting on my own. The question today becomes: The earth yields to God, so why can’t I? Will I yield to God or wilt with a stubborn heart?
How helpless we are when things that don’t go as we planned. How nice it would be to wish all the bad away. Life gets interrupted, outcomes aren’t as expected, we are thrown a curve. What is our response? “It’s not fair!” “Why would this happen?” Or perhaps we put up a wall and stand behind it with our arms crossed.
Yet what if we yield to God? What a difference yielding sounds like: “God, this stinks. It hurts, and I don’t understand, but I trust you. I don’t see this outcome but you do, and may it bring you glory. Give me peace and blessed assurance that you are near today. I just give this whole situation to you because I’m not even sure what to pray for right now. Keep my eyes fixed on you, even if there are tears.” A stubborn heart assumes hope is lost, God’s plan is lost, or victory is lost. What lies! Yield to God and we hear a very different message, one of Truth. The Bible tell us that Christ alone IS our hope (Psalm 62), God KNOWS the plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11), and Christ IS victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57). God can even use what seems to threaten us, to water our roots. Ask yourself today, “Do I yield to God or does my stubborn heart resist?”
As I returned indoors, God reminded me that He is the One True God that can and will melt the icy snow, but sometimes allows the snow. In fact, the snow may become the very water that nourishes and grows the roots. Even when all I see is the frost bite. God reminded me: Yield and I will nourish the roots of your heart. It is God’s Living Water alone that can nourish and heal the unreachable and untouchable places of the heart.
Will I yield to God and let Him nourish and grow me? Will I trust Him with the outcome, or will I miss the blessing of peace and glory of God? Will I weather the storm Or will my stubborn heart lay wilted on the ground in the despair of circumstances. I don’t always get it right, that is for sure, but maybe, just maybe I will remember that even prized purple tulips yield to God. If the earth yields to God, will I?
April 28 will arrive in a few weeks, ladies will arrive at my door to shower an expectant mother. They may not be greeted by cheerful purple tulips, and that is OK. We will celebrate my friend and the promise of new life growing within her. And tucked away just outside the door, tulip bulbs deep under the ground, will celebrate life too, one that yields to God, weathers the storms, and awaits new life to come.