As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field.
I like spending time with my camera. It’s a old friend that never lets me down. My family thinks it’s an appendage of my body and I suppose there’s some truth to that. So my camera and I took a stroll outside the other morning after God lavished us with bountiful rain. The air was cool and fresh and energizing.
Then I saw it.
I love photographing flowers. Actually, I think of it as taking portrait shots. Flowers seem to enjoy having their portraits taken unless it’s a windy day. But this day was still and the water drops adhered to the petals and leaves of my favorite tulip, reflecting back my presence like a mirror.
Tulips hold special meaning for reformed people, right? But I think they tell another story as well. They pop up every spring with their new curved leaves and then produce a bud right in the center. That bud gets a little taller each day, and then one morning you’re greeted with the stunning beauty of the open bloom.
Sadly, spring rolls into summer and the tulip plant experiences a death of sorts as its leaves shrivel up and fall off. Then the plant disappears into the earth. Fall covers its place in leaves and winter adds a layer of snow. But inklings of spring return, and before you know it the thick curved leaves appear again. Only this time they bring children with them!
When I think of tulips, I think of how God works in our lives. He send heat (trials) and we shed those parts that don’t look like Jesus. We die to sin. Then times of refreshing come (spring) and we grow spiritually and flower. And it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s not the only thing. As Christians we also multiply as we share the Gospel.
For me, tulips are a picture of a flourishing Christian life.
Let me reckon my old life dead
because of crucifixion,
and never feed it as a living thing.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life;
may it rule me,
may I walk in its power,
and be strengthened through its influence.
(Valley of Vision, 173)