Consider the Sunflowers
Thanks to record-breaking rainfall in June, the fields I walk past in my neighborhood have flourished green and now abound with colorful wildflowers. The ones that captivate me most are the vibrant yellow sunflowers, which have grown impressively tall this year.
On a recent walk, I stopped to take photos to document their dramatic growth. As the sunflowers swayed gracefully in rhythm with the cooling breeze, I recalled what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount about considering the lilies of the field, which testify to God’s provision of soil, water, seeds, and sunshine for these beauties to grow without man’s intervention. Regal lilies delight for a season but soon dry out with the grass that fuels the ovens. Why should we—made in God’s image with eternal purpose—worry that God won’t provide for our basic needs?
I imagine that if Jesus had been standing on a Colorado mountainside, He would have pointed to the prominent, populous sunflowers to prove His point. When I looked up the Greek word translated as “lilies” in most Bible versions, I learned the word krinon was used to describe field wildflowers of rich color. Sunflowers certainly fit that description here in Colorado!
Reminded of Jesus’ words, I soaked in the scene and considered the sunflowers—praising God for sustaining me over the past year as I battled with physical anxiety symptoms that returned after 18 months of being medication-free. During those months, I worried about things like being able to breathe deeply to settle my racing heartbeat and being able to stay standing in a roomful of students while sweating, trembling, and stumbling over my words. The struggle WAS real.
Yet as singer Brandon Lake so vividly describes in his song “Hard Year”:
The lilies have clothes
The river still flows
And the sun’s still shinin’
There’s strength in my bones
And breath in my lungs
For the songs worth singin’
These sunflowers are standing tall, and I’m walking, breathing, and praising God for the breath I breathe. Even though it’s been a truly hard year, God has sustained me with daily provisions that allowed me to keep moving. What did that look like? Stay tuned for more of that story. Follow me on Instagram @thepaceofgrace_reneegotcher.