My husband and I really enjoy gardening together. I know my love of flowers has been passed down through the generations in my family. My parents have amazing garden beds. My grandma, now in her mid-eighties, still has a beautiful garden, though not the size it once was. So, usually, they’re the ones teaching us about new plants, and we’re the ones who enjoy getting transplants from them to add to our flower beds.
But recently, we were the ones who were able to introduce them to a gorgeous new plant they didn’t know about. It has the most exquisite flowers, called hellebores. Their common name is “winter rose” or “Lenten rose” because the blooms appear very early in the year, around the time of Lent.
They are the earliest flower to bloom in our yard and last for several months, with the added bonus of evergreen foliage. This year, they were actually blooming in the snow! They have quickly become one of my favorites in the garden, even though picking favorites is so hard. If you haven’t seen them before, you have to look them up. Trust me, you will be awed!
There is only one thing about these sweet flowers though that makes them really quite different: They are gently nodding beauties. Their flower heads actually face downward, and their true, full beauty can’t be completely appreciated unless you lift them up.
We were in the garden the other day, and I gently lifted each smokey pink flower growing on a dark purple stem to enjoy them. I was thinking about how stunning these beauties were, though they almost seemed sad with their distinctive nodding blooms, and it reminded me of how many times I’ve felt just like those sad, bowed down heads.
I am sure many of us have felt that way or might be feeling like that now. Our heads hanging low by the burdens we carry, by the shame we feel, by all the challenges we battle. Worry consumes us, and it takes a toll. Struggles overcome us, and it takes a toll. Loneliness fills us, and it takes a toll. It all seems just too heavy to bear. We feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and we are bent down under that weight.
In the darkness, He is a shield about us. In our weakness and brokenness, He is the lifter of our heads. At all times, God is our glory.
Just as I lifted those hanging flowers to admire them, what a beautiful image of our loving Father lifting our heads in the midst of struggles, darkness, and sadness in life and admiring us. Can you picture it now?
He takes your lowered head and gently raises your chin. With tears of frustration or shame or sorrow or brokenness, you meet His loving eyes. You just know, He sees you. He sees your heart. You know He is your protection, your shield, your strength. You know His love for you is beyond comprehension.
None of us have answers as to why we have such darkness in the world and in our own lives. We don’t understand why there are times when troubles seem endless. We don’t have explanations for all the storms, but we do know the One who understands and stands by us. He protects us and fights for us.
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3 (ESV)
The One who holds our days — look to Him, call on Him, trust Him. The Lord will lift your head.Leave a Comment