Day 34 of 40 Days of Grace – How I Learned to See Grace in a Flower

 In Broken Vessels, Windows to Grace

Day 34 – This morning I trudged downstairs to find a vase full of wilted tulips. Many of the petals drooped. Some had fallen off during the night. The vibrant salmon pink color had drained out of each flower, making them look almost transparent. Just a week ago I bought them impulsively, wanting to bring a pop of spring color into my house.

A year ago I would have fought the impulse to purchase this bargain bunch of ten tulips. And do you know why? Because in my heart I felt I didn’t deserve them. Flowers were something your husband, children, or even sometimes a friend would bring to you, like an earned expression of love. I’m not even sure why I believed that except my mom didn’t receive flowers very often. They seemed a frivolous way to spend money when they didn’t last long.

And then my husband’s cousin, and my close friend, would write to me that she was buying daffodils or tulips as spring neared. I figured living in Minnesota and perhaps being more desperate for spring justified such a thing. I would picture those beautiful colors of nature and started to wonder why I should wait to see the flowers. Did I have to wait to see them pop up from the ground or was it okay to steal a little time and beauty for my own satisfaction? Betsi’s an artist and I’m thinking that having flowers around feeds her soul. As a rather visual person myself, my eyes were hungry for such a sight, so occasionally I will splurge on the colorful pick of the week at our local store, but not very often.

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After I bought the tulips last week it suddenly occurred to me that is wasn’t about deserving the flowers by some earned affection, but they were a lot like God’s grace. It was okay for me to enjoy the tulips and the sight of their beauty. They were there, like a gift I bought for myself and others to enjoy.

God’s grace is like this. It’s fragrant and lovely, purchased with His extravagant love, a love that sacrificed everything that we may enjoy His gifts. We didn’t deserve it, but He makes it available to us anyway.

 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:7-8, NLT)

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