Friday, May 8, 2015

In a field full of dandelions

April showers bring May flowers...and May dandelions. As a child I believed that dandelions were just a part of the flower family. Like most kids I made bouquets of dandelions for my Mom believing that I was delivering her a thoughtful gift of nature's bounty, not a handful of my yard's pesky nemesis.
Once I grew up I learned the sneaky truth about those yellow-headed "flowers." They aren't flowers at all. They are weeds that ChemLawn has made a killing off of killing. Dandelions weren't sent to earth as free bouquets. If that were the case a whole lot of women could save some serious money on their wedding arrangements. They could simply stop by a big, open field on the way to the ceremony and save the florist fee. But, alas, dandelions aren't flowers. They are weeds.
Today as I drove along a hilly road with wide open fields and rolling landscapes I came across an expanse of open land covered with dandelions. The lush green grass beneath was barely visible. The yellow dots were in abundance, shining in the bright sun. Those dandelions were breathtakingly beautiful. It made me want to pull over and take a picture and then lay on that blanket of delicate petals. The field looked so inviting, as if it were saying, "It's spring! Come and enjoy!"
That quick moment in my car gazing upon the dandelions passed before I could make the decision to pull to the side of the road and stay a little bit longer. But the moment in my mind didn't pass. I drove on picturing those dandelions, brightened by their beauty.
How could a pesky lawn invader bring so much joy? How could they be so beautiful?
In life and in flowers it is tempting to think we know what is best. We know what life circumstances will make us happy and what flowers are appropriate for every occasion. Gerber daisies are happy flowers. Roses are reserved for love. In life we want health that will make us happy. We want love that will make us complete.  We think we know what is best. In our feeble, limited minds we have defined the good and the bad and anything that doesn't fit our mold is deemed undesirable.
But just look at the dandelion. Something considered a weed is actually something beautiful. And, might I add, not just beautiful but healing and therapeutic, too! Did you know that dandelions are used to heal the liver, stomach and even cancer? Yes, that's right. Dandelions have been known to rid the body of cancer. And botanists want to call it a weed. That, my friend, is some powerful yellow floret.
As with nearly everything in life and even in weeds, there is a lesson to be learned. What we believe is best is not the only best and sometimes it isn't even the very best. God often uses the things that appear pesky, troublesome, trying or downright weed-like to bring about His purposes. He may use the plight of singleness to grow an individual spiritually. He may use a trial of sickness to increase our awareness and reliance on Him.
The dandelion is proof that what we want isn't always what we need want what we need isn't always necessarily what we want. God works in mysterious and amazing ways, even using the weeds of life to bring about healing and wholeness. Thank God for His dandelions, both those in a big abandoned field and those in the depths of your heart because they aren't pesky and they aren't a weed, they are a precious gift and quite possible the very thing you need most.

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