Sunflowers and the Wait

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I’m a city girl.  My husband reminds me.  My friends remind me.  I remind myself.  I don’t always know about plants and gardens … or even flowers.  But I think I have something figured out now.  I found out that sunflowers follow the sun.  I’m sure you knew that, right?  I have never paid attention. 

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I purchased a bunch of sunflowers for our pie social last Sunday, only to find out that on Monday, they were all sad and droopy looking.  I thought they must have needed watering.  I watered them, left them in front of the window facing the sun, and stopped back later, only to be pleasantly surprised.  The flowers were rejuvenated and happily smiling at, yes, the sun. 

Sure, sure, you’re thinking … she’s kind of silly, but truth be told, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that the sunflowers do their best, when facing the sun. 

This morning we’re going to talk about sunflowers, waiting on God, worrying a whole bunch, and facing the Son.  Here’s what’s happening in my world … out in the grove. 

Youngest daughter is thrust into a horrific angst about her future.  She has four job interviews and four job offers.  She and her husband have been working on what’s the best move, what’s the best step, what does God say?  But the problem is this … God is quiet. 

Have you ever had this happen?!  You are desperately seeking God and God is quiet … you can’t hear Him, see Him, or figure out what He wants, and yet, you’re waiting. 

I learned some things about the waiting.  I learned that it’s a bit like being a droopy sunflower.  When we’re dry and thirsty and needing some water in the vase of our spirit, we start wilting.  I learned that when we wait it doesn’t feel good.  When we are waiting, we get nervous and anxious.  When we are waiting, we second guess ourselves and our purpose.  When we are waiting, we can be stupid.  When we are waiting on God, and we don’t get instant answers, we can feel alone. Let’s put these in order. 

  1. When we go without prayer and time with God … we wilt.
  2. Waiting can make us feel depressed and out of control.
  3. Waiting doesn’t always feel good.
  4. Waiting makes us anxious.
  5. Waiting can be a process and so if we are impatient we can make unwise decisions.
  6. Waiting makes us feel alone.
  7. Waiting makes us impatient with others, ourselves and God. 

Now, here’s what else I’ve learned from God throughout my years of waiting.

  1. Waiting is when God shows us His power … not ours.
  2. Waiting is when God teaches us lessons on patience and perserverence.
  3. Waiting builds character.
  4. Waiting gives us time to breathe and to think through possible scenarios.
  5. Waiting is where we feel alone, and then realize the truth of scripture when God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and we remember we are never alone.
  6. Waiting teaches us lessons we’d never learn if we were just happily living life without any challenges.
  7. Waiting builds faith. 
Over the years I have watched as God continually comes through with wisdom and help, but it never seems to be in a great “let’s get this done early,” time-frame.  Instead, God is the God of the eleventh hour. 

It’s more like a “here I am with a few minutes to spare.”  He does this to stretch faith and build character.  Will we trust Him? 

Today, I snapped a picture of my sunflowers.  They were facing the sun, still looking beautiful, and a lovely yellow jacket bee had found its way onto the pedals.   I zoomed in to make the picture a close up and it dawned on me … this is life!  This is how it is with you, with me, with God!  You see, we only see that very close up pedal of the sunflower.  We see the bee on the pedal.  But when the camera zooms back and I took in the whole photo, I saw all of the wonderful things in the picture.  I saw the complete photo. 

God sees the complete snapshot of our lives.  He sees everything that we can’t see.  He is always looking out for what’s best for us. Not just in the moment, but in the upcoming moments and in the total all over picture of our future. 

The sunflowers are crying out for water to drink, just like we need the living water to be filled, and they are seeking the face of the sun to get warmth and light and survive, just as we need the Son of God (Jesus) for this.

We need to learn from the sunflowers and seek God’s face continually, watch for the bigger picture, drinking in the Word and holding onto the faith in our living God,waiting on Him for our next move.  It might not ‘feel’ good, but it will be worth the wait.  Of that … I’m sure!

  1. Kathleen Sogge08-12-13

    I love these thoughts Kathy!
    Isaiah 40:31
    “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their
    strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
    they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall
    walk and not faint.”