Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

Intentional and Voluntary “Blooming”


This week was the end of something that makes me happy and now is no longer filled with beauty but now looks sad and wilted, droopy, turning black. The night of freezing temperatures did this to my bit of happiness. Many years ago, my mother introduced me to a beautiful blue flower. This flower loves climbing. It is a bit hard to grow in that its seeds are very hard shelled. Often you have to soak them for 24 hours or score the hard outer shell to get them to sprout. The name of this plant is Heavenly Blue Morning Glory. To me, the color is beautiful. Blue is one of my favorite colors. Few flowers come in the color blue. The blue of the morning glory is the color of the sky. The sky reminds me of God and His heaven. So that particular Morning Glory has a wonderful name. I have the perfect spot to grow morning glories--on the east side of my home and in a place where they can grow as high as they want. They get the first rays of the sun each day and open up to show the glory that God has placed within them. What a beautiful reminder of God's blessings each day. But when we turn cold and lose the warmth of God's love in our hearts, then we too wither and begin to die. The morning glory can grow in poor dry soil. God allows his seed to be spread and grow in full sun and in places that seem to give the seed a poor chance to grow and flourish. Yet, God's love does not need perfect soil. His love grows and spreads where we think it doesn't have a chance. Everyone can enjoy His blessings.

While my mother shared her appreciation for the Morning Glory flower, my father DID NOT. He was certain that the flower would get into his fields and spread and become invasive. I understand his dislike because there is a relative weed flower that grows freely along roadsides and in fields. It is called bindweed and is not appreciated at all. It does take over if not controlled vigorously. No, my father had no love for Morning Glories. What he didn't understand was that the Heavenly Blue MG doesn't survive temperatures below 45 degrees. And you must replant new seeds every year. It would not have become invasive.  

A number of years ago, I was not able to grow my Heavenly Blue Morning Glory flowers. I don't remember the reason and it really doesn't matter anymore. But I chose that year to substitute with another Morning Glory flower. This one grew very well and easily. It didn't give me just one color of flower. Instead it often has bluish-purple flowers, pink ones, almost white ones, striped ones of all those colors and almost endless other variations. I enjoy it a lot. Almost as much as the blue version. BUT--unlike the Heavenly Blue MG which has to be planted every year here in Iowa, these other morning glories give viable seeds that can survive winter temperatures and reseed themselves. Every spring we rake down the old vines and dispose of the old plants and hopefully most of the seeds from the previous summer. We know that some seeds will drop and give us flowers during the summer. Some of the seeds scatter farther. Some of them land in a planter barrel of dirt that I like to plant pansies in--another one of my favorites. 

I was interested in what happened this summer--all summer long. Each week, throughout June and July and August and even in September, I had to pull up newly sprouted morning glory plants in my barrel of pansies. I never disturbed the dirt so any seeds that grew were ones that landed on the surface of the dirt in the planter. To me it was a mystery as to why they didn't all sprout and grow at the same time. I think that means that each of us grows at different rate in our walk with Jesus. My understanding of what God wants me to do and to be is not the same as another. My understanding of what Jesus is leading me to do is different than it was 60+ years ago! (yes I am that old!! Shhh, don't tell!) It is even different now than it was a year ago. He leads slowly but does not give up on me. My MG vines grow rapidly during August. They seem to grow overnight and the next morning have grown into places where I do not want them to grow! Then I have to pull them up and prune what I do not want. God watches me grow too. Sometimes He needs to pull up or prune off what is not what He wants me to be. There is a tall shepherds hook near where my morning glories are supposed to grow but in the ambitious growing that they do, they climb up on that shepherds hook pole. I think that they grow at least 6 inches every day/night. It did not take long for the plant to reach the top of the pole and be out of more pole to climb and wrap around on. That did not stop the growing. Long tendrils began to wave around in midair in an attempt to find more support to wind upward. God on the other hand wants us to continue to grow up and reach out to Him. He will not let us grow without His support. He reaches out to support me and you.

The glory of this plant is just visible during the morning coolness. Once the sun moves away and the heat of the day begins, the flowers close up and stay closed all night. Not until the sun comes back the next morning will I get to see their beauty. The flower is the glory of God. The heart-shaped leaves remind of the love in God's heart for me, you too. The rapid growth of this plant reminds me that God's love just keeps coming and coming and growing and growing in our hearts.

Jesus, the Son, is my true Morning Glory.

We are blessed by flowers intentionally planted and by “volunteers” that spring up wherever we happen to dispose of the dead trash. Some make their way to our garden. Then in addition to my beautiful flower wall, “Morning Glory” flowers are growing up the corn stalks! These plants have not benefited from feeding, watering or any weeding, yet they grow, blooming where they are planted providentially by God, demonstrating the character quality of perseverance. I recall hearing the phrase “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” The saying has the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we are. Sometimes we may find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be. A true test of character is how we bloom in these places. “Show me the way I should go,” should be a daily petition.

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