Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Ecclesiates 3:11 He has made all things beautiful in His time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.
While driving through the desert this past Saturday to a conference I was speaking at, I was reminded of an odd plant that thrives in arid regions. It looks like an ugly love-child of a cactus and aloe vera plant. It has a spreading rosette in the center of the plant which grows spiny, grey-green leaves about three inches thick and has a sharp spike at the end of each tip. Each year the plant grows wider, longer, and uglier.
Seriously, the maguey plant is one of the those plants you can walk by and never even notice or care about; it's forgettable and over-looked. But as I studied this plant, I was shocked to learn this plant has a beautiful story of endurance and perseverance. For over 20 years the plant will grow without producing a single flower or fruit. But then, like a great Disney tale, a small shoot grows out of the center of the rosette. And keeps growing. And growing. And growing. In a matter of three days, a stem roughly two feet thick will reach heights of over twenty-five feet! At the very top of the stem is a beautiful cyme of yellow, fragrant flowers.
After years of ugliness, the beauty that was deep within pushes up and stands majestically in dry and barren land.
Years of abuse, molestation, neglect, depression, trials or tragedy are part of the brokenness of man. But in God's perfect time He restores the years of ugliness with vibrant colors, sweet scents, and towering strength. Even when we can't see the full scope of God's work from beginning to end, He will make all things beautiful in His time. Are you blooming? Share your story. Are you feeling like the maguey plant, ugly and overlooked? Share your story. It's about time we rejoice with those who are rejoicing and weep with those who are weeping (Romans 12:15).