I have days where I can hardly breathe for the anxiety of life. Today has been one of those days. I couldn’t and can’t seem to shake the feeling of failure. Everything that should be working is breaking. Everything I should be doing I’m not. The relationships I shouldn’t have to worry about are collapsing and inverting, and I am so tired… It has been one of my “difficult days.”
I decided to take the long way home from school this morning. I’d picked up my son from my mom and felt about ready to explode. There wasn’t anything specific I could pinpoint as the source of my frustration. I just…was. And so, I drove. I didn’t know where the road would go, but it ended somewhere. The Texas hill country rolled past my window, the trees green for once. Everything outside my body was calm. My son sat in the back smiling out at the world. The world smiled back at him. The weather was beautiful, wispy clouds dusting a deep blue sky, fields of wild flowers and mesquite trees bending in the breeze, oaks arching gnarled arms over the road to make a living tunnel. Somehow amidst all that beauty, I found myself wanting to cry.
Life has not been easy, but as one Christian song says, “You must think I’m strong to give me this.” Just as I began to give up, I pulled up to a stop light and looked out my window. A bunch of wild flowers grew on the median next to me, their purple petals open to the sun. I swear, it was like a voice whispered in my ear, “If I promised to take care of the flowers, how much more will I take care of you?”
How apt an illustration! I used to look at flowers and the “lilies of the field” analogy with a superior attitude. “They’re helpless but pretty, and I’m so much better than they are. God has to take care of me, because I’m made in His image and they’re not.” Today, I realized I had it backwards. The flowers, for all their lack of soul, are not lesser than I. We are both equally His creation. A flower faces just as many upsets as we do in our lives. They must fight to establish a root, must hope for rain, must survive being stepped on and eaten and pulled up. We admire flowers for their beauty and miss the bigger picture. My Father doesn’t just clothe the wild flowers. He provides everything for them and loves them as a creator his creation. If He created each flower and each petal personally, how much more must He love us who have the capacity to return His love?
I am not better than a flower because I have a brain. I am better because I can voice the gratitude I have and understand the blessings I am given. I face the same things as the flower: I have to establish “roots” throughout childhood and into adulthood. I have to hope for “rain” in the form of job stability. I have to survive being stepped on by others and devoured by temptation and uprooted by relational issues. Unlike the flower though, I have hope for something past the end of my life. My Father has promised to love me and protect me regardless of the things life throws my way. Today has been difficult, but it’s just the beginning and I’m not alone. I have Someone who has promised to meet all of my needs, just as He’s promised to meet those of the wild flowers.