The sticky island breeze rolled through the window as I caught a glimpse of the young girl circling the room. She had paced it at least a dozen times by now, the worship music following her. I closed my eyes in reflection just to be startled by a tap—it was the girl. She cupped a small object in her hand and offered it to me as she began, “Marina, I’ve been walking around this room asking God to show me who He wants me to give this to, and He wants me to give it to you.”
Caught a little off guard, I accepted the object she offered—a small purple clay flower.
“I made this, and when you look at it I want you to remember that you are like this flower. God wants to build you up petal by petal. He wants to encourage and grow you to be a beautiful reflection of Him.” She said only a few more words until she left the same way she had come.
For a moment, I didn’t know what to think. A very young girl had just given me a piece of clay and a seemingly elemental message about who I was in Christ, and yet, it felt so powerful.
I carried that flower with me—to my room on the base, in the three planes it took to get back home, and finally, to my college dorm room.
You see, that flower means more to me than a piece of clay or even a souvenir. Why?
Every flower starts with a seed. That seed had to die before it could produce the glorious miracle of a bud and petals.
Every time I look at that flower I remember that I must come to the end of myself—even die to myself—to be built up by Christ. He wants our complete and total surrender so He can transform us into someone we never thought we could be—someone whole and free and redeemed and beautiful. This truth should never be written off as elemental.
Even if you feel like you “have it all together,” God still wants to build upon the beauty and depth of your connection to Him. Cutting off God’s growth and discipline in your life would be like the flower saying to the Creator, “I know I am only a little bigger than a bud, but I’m satisfied to stay right where I am.” No, it is when we ask God for the big things that we see life change, adding petal upon petal as a testimony of God’s “abundantly more.” Some petals are born of pain, others of celebration, but each is a reflection of God’s faithfulness.
Not only does God want to build us up under His Name and Kingdom, but He wants to strip away anything not of Him. He peels back the rotten petals of our life—the ones stained and tattered by sin and guilt. He prunes our hearts and puts stronger and more beautiful petals in their place.
It is true, God wants to build our lives into a Fortress of His Name and His Spirit. The moment we believe the enemy’s lies that we are “good enough” is the moment we forget that our God has the power to transform our lives and the lives of those around us through the sacrifice of His Son.
Let us now share the good news that Christ is enough, that He does have things to teach us each day, and that He is still in the business of turning a dead seed into a glorious flower.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! Luke 12:27-28