My husband does not like artificial flowers in any way, shape or form. I have been ordered never to place any kind of “fake flowers” on his tombstone if he should happen to be heaven bound before me.
I have tried to reason with him, and often make wreaths with artificial flowers. And honestly, many times I cannot tell the difference. I have even been known to even smell a flower or two only to find out that it was not the real thing.
That was kind of like my life as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We can look good from the outside. For many years I appeared as though I had it all together…I wanted to be the “perfect” Christian.
That didn’t last. Trying to be a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ by my own merits and in my own strength had no life. I worked hard to achieve “acceptance” by the Father and everyone else I came in contact with.
But like the artificial flowers in the sunlight, I faded. My plastic blooms fell to the ground. My polyester/silk petals didn’t last forever…even though I was sure that they would last. I was down to nothing really.
The deception is that they will not fade. Only the real flowers die and fade away. That being said, the reality of the life of the flowers cannot be denied, but the artificial are just that…artificial. They are not real. They don’t smell, they don’t grow, they don’t die.
I was depending upon my own actions. The reality of the gospel and the love the Father had for me was a head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. Then the Love came to me.
In the Father’s gracious love and mercy, He taught me that my acceptance wasn’t dependent upon my actions or ability to stay in bloom. He assured me that He loved me…and that His love didn’t depend upon my actions to look like the perfect Christian.
The flowers became real. The color was vibrant, the life was mine. Sometimes the flowers bloomed brightly, other times they looked beaten and battered. When they were nourished, even in the battering wind of life they maintained beauty. And someday the time will come for them to die. But they will have truly lived.
I think I will stick to the real flowers…..planted and rooted deeply.
My husband will be happy.
IN CHRIST ALONE
*NIV Bible, personal graphics