Things that Grow in Tough Places

Pictured at left are my wife’s wildflowers growing in front of our house.  I’ll get back to those in a minute. 

I noticed something while driving this morning.  They did some roadwork not far from our home earlier in the spring.  The road was widened and a gravel shoulder was added on each side in case you did need to move over.  A few feet over from the edge of the gravel there still stands a large mound of dirt that was either used in the construction or pushed aside, and there is grass growing in the in-between space.  I noticed this morning that 3 large sunflower plants have come up seemingly on their own, in the rough dry soil next to what was a construction area just several weeks ago.  Each plant was about 5 or 6 feet high, and had very large sunflower blossoms.  The sunflowers my wife tried to grow at our house didn’t do nearly so well this year.  We planted them in potting soil, watered them regularly, but they always look like they’re about to wither up.  They put out sunflowers, but the plants always look like they’re suffering; not like the wild growing plants beside the highway just down the road.  Fascinating.

Remember the wildflowers at the top of the page?  Each spring we plant a variety of wild flowers in the beds around our home.  We buy a mix of seeds designed to attract humming birds and butterflies.  When we were dating, my wife made sure I understood she would rather have wildflowers than store-bought roses.  She also prefers gemstones to diamonds; she says diamonds are boring, you could cut glass to look the same way. 

We’ve all heard stories of a dandelion growing up through a narrow crack in the sidewalk, or a tree growing out of the side of a barren cliff.  Why do you think God does that?  When we see a flower growing right up through a crack in solid rock, you kind of say to yourself “Wow, that’s really something.”  It’s nothing special when a plant grows in lush, fertile soil.  That would be easy.  I think sometimes God puts us in difficult places to grow, so that when we do grow he can say “Wow, that’s really something.”  Growth in a difficult place means more than if everything were easy.  My wife thinks wildflowers of many different varieties are more interesting than a dozen roses all genetically engineered to look the same.  I think God raises Christians that way too.  It’s often us who want all Christians to look and act the same.  I believe God made us wildflowers.

One thought on “Things that Grow in Tough Places

  1. Pingback: Ever feel like you’re alone? « The Master’s Table

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