Wild Flowers

James 1:9-11 speaks to the person in humble circumstances (I think that is similar to poverty or one caught in trials) and to the rich person and compares them to a wild flower that has its moment of beauty and then fades. The humble are in a high position and the rich are in a low position. How is that so? Trials pull us into the spotlight of life, perhaps the doctor, perhaps the law, perhaps the family. Suddenly focus is on us because of our plight. It is very humbling to be so exposed. Could it be that trials focus attention on us even as a wild flower in the wilderness draws the eye by its uniqueness? Meanwhile times of richness are often times of great responsibility juggling priorities, times of decisions about alternatives, and often overwhelming like trying to decide what to eat at a buffet. The highs and lows of life come with blessings and problems. It is easy to think the opposite extreme is the place of blessing but in -fact like the wild flower, these extremes in life pass.
In college at a point of spiritual despair, I read Screwtape’s Letters by C.S. Lewis. Uncle Screwtape, a greater demon, was writing to his nephew Wormwood and giving him advice about dealing with humans. One chapter has stayed in my memory. Screwtape admonishes Wormwood — don’t you realize that humans are amphibians, undulating creatures that have highs and lows. Nothing makes their heavenly father more happy than times of despair, when the world looks devoid of God’s presence, they pray. They are learning to walk and he, God, must remove his hand so they can learn. The mountain highs are always followed by the deep valleys and through these opposites, like the wild flower, we bloom. Perhaps today is not a high or a low but the gift of routine and predictability but never forget that you are the wild flower in God’s garden, delighting him. Blessings.

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