We are entering another bitter cold winter season. I will probably never get fully accustomed to North Florida weather. You see, I was born in sunny South Florida and was raised in sunnier Cuba. In other words, I am a tropical man.
You, my beloved reader, probably love and rejoice in the winter “wonderland” as they call it. You enjoy the snow and the whole Nativity season. I also love the season---minus the cold. I rather celebrate the birth of Christ on a sandy beach (instead of the snow) and under palm trees (instead of around a pagan tree filled with lights).
I can hardly wait for the spring to arrive. The mild weather and the flowers signal the death of winter and the birth (or rebirth) of new life that arrive with spring.
One of the main things I notice during the spring is the beautiful flowers of the field. In particular, I observe how most of the flowers bloom or open their petals every morning as the sun comes up. At night, most flowers close up until the next morning.
I am not a scientist; therefore I cannot explain this floral pattern. I don’t know how or why most flowers open and close their petals with this regularity. However, I believe that there are a few lessons that we can learn from diurnal flowers.
Christians are children of the light and children of the day (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Like newborn flowers, we are diurnal (belonging to the day) creatures and we rejoice in all the days that our Lord have made (Psalm 118:24).
The diurnal flowers need the sun to live and grow. The process known as photosynthesis uses the sunlight to produce plant food. Christians need the sun as well, like all other creatures, but we absolutely depend upon the Son for our spiritual life as we grow in the light of Christ. He is our Savior and Sustainer (Colossians 1:15-17).
As the flowers close at night, we must too learn to close all the doors that deal with evil and darkness. James commands us to resist the devil (James 4:7) and Paul says that there is always an open door of escape for those who flee from darkness and temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
One last thing before I go: There is another kind of flowers. I am referring to nocturnal flowers that “sleep” during the day and open up in the darkness. We were like those flowers before Christ came and plucked us out from the kingdom of darkness and planted us in his eternal kingdom of life and light (Colossians 1:13).
Some time ago, our church building was burglarized. The break in happened at night. The thief broke a window and stole some electronic items.
It is so sad that this happened to a small rural church like ours, in the middle of nowhere. There is no respect for private property or for God, even in a southern and “God fearing” community such as ours anymore.
I don’t know the exact figures, but millions of crimes are committed each year including break-ins, robberies and burglaries. If you visit big cities like Miami, you will see iron bars on doors and windows everywhere. You will also see guard dogs and alarms protecting most properties and don’t forget the security guards.
The human heart is just like those houses. Our hearts have been burglarized and broken too many times. To avoid this onslaught, we protect our hearts with the iron bars of anger, apathy, sarcasm or solitude.
Jesus sees our hearts and he sees all the hurt and disappointments that live there. He also sees all the futile defense mechanisms that we use to protect it. Jesus sees all of that and everything else, including our lusts, passions, inclinations and deviations.
Jesus sees everything that is in our hearts, because He lives there. Jesus cares about our hearts and he has compassion for our sufferings. He wants to heal our broken hearts, but the only way He will do this is by breaking the power that sin and the flesh have over us.
He needs to break us before he can remake us.
Jeremiah 18:4 tells us what Jeremiah, the prophet saw when he went to the potter’s house:
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Spurgeon said: “God breaks those He wants to make great.” He did that with Jacob before he became Israel. He broke Saul in order to make the apostle Paul and he broke Peter and transformed him from a Christ-denying disciple into a bold preacher of righteousness in the name of the Lord.
We need for Christ to break in into our hearts and for Him to break and destroy all the pride, lusts, rebellion and sinfulness that still remain there. Let us submit to his pruning work (John 15:4) as He removes all the useless “branches” from our heart and remakes us according to:
“…the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13)