Understanding the Father’s Love With a Starburst of Joy
When winter storms assail, we have the tendency to retreat and engage in introspective thoughts that cause us to withdraw, murmur and complain. But our Heavenly Father allows seasons to touch our lives, even the winter season. His purpose is to teach us to rest in Him, allowing Him to become our refuge from the storm.
Under His tender watchful care, we are safe. Even though we feel cold and miserable, there is a purpose and a plan to make us beautiful – if we will only trust Him and give thanks in the midst of the storm.
This winter we’ve had some very cold weather for Florida. In fact, we had a few nights in the twenties. I gathered all my succulents and smaller plants and put on a table on the porch, next to the house.
Then I placed a blanket over them to keep them warm. I love my plants and try to meet their needs – though sometimes I am a bit forgetful!
For nearly a week, they hid under the blanket. Then we suddenly had balmy Florida weather. When that was followed by another cold snap, again, my plants were swathed in blankets.
A Starburst of Joy
In the midst of this, the succulent I now call Starburst – budded for the first time. It is about 3 years old but has never had even a hint of flowers. Then as 2018 rolled around, at the top of the succulent, appeared a stem with a circlet that developed into separate little buds; buds in a circle giving the feel of a flower.
For about 6 weeks, there was just the circlet with tiny white buds. Daily I would inspect it, but there was never a sign of those buds opening. A bit disappointed, I finally decided the buds were all the flower I was going to get.
And then we had a day of 80 degree weather after a week of temperatures being in the 30’s at night! To my astonishment, one tiny bud opened and then another. It was like a star burst of joy. I was so excited.
Life is like that. The Lord intends us to be beautiful and to open our hearts in adoration and worship, lifting our hands to heaven in praise and thanksgiving.
But it is easier to droop, like my succulent, which needed something to hold it up so it didn’t break. As we droop, the little buds that are forming are closed like tight fists.
Tenderly, the Lord covers us with His love when the brutal winds assault. And under the blanket of His love, we may grumble and complain.
He calls us to give thanks in everything. We mumble. “Give thanks? That’s a fine how do you do! What do I have to give thanks for?”
But His sweet Spirit continues to beckon us to begin the journey of giving thanks and suggests, “Give thanks that you are alive!”
With a great display of self-righteousness and martyrdom, we say thank you. And then trying to be super spiritual, we give thanks again. Before long, a habit of saying thank you begins to occur. Initially, we didn’t mean it. We just gave thanks because it was our duty.
But strangely enough, our brain loves it when we say thank you. Who would ever have guessed!
And so we say thank you and we really begin to mean it. And though we still feel somewhat miserable and ill used, we begin to find joy in giving thanks.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Thes 5:18)
Understanding the Father's Love
As we obey, and do what we were created to do, a circlet of buds appears that we didn’t even know were there. The cold winds assail, and the Heavenly Father again tenderly covers us with His own blanket of love.
As we wait before Him, He washes us with the water of His Word. The Holy Spirit rains down blessings upon us as we give thanks. And one day the SON comes over us, His light breaking through our gloom, causing us to lift our heads and hearts in awe to worship Him.
As our heart opens to Him in worship, tiny close fisted buds begin to open and lift their faces to the light of the Father’s love.
The star burst of joy reflecting the beauty of the face of Christ, the Bright and Morning Star, shines upon our faces as we behold the Star of Jacob who lightens our way to the Heavenly Father.
Open Your Heart to His Love
If I, who am frail and forgetful, love my plants and seek to provide for their needs, how much more does your Father in Heaven, who is merciful and kind, love you and long to provide for your every need!
Dear Heart, I pray you recognize the blanket of the Father’s love over you. May the coldness of the struggle you have been walking through be conquered in the precious name of the Lamb of God, the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
May you walk in thanksgiving and gratitude to our Beloved Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Most High God who loves you.
May the Day Star rise in your heart, filling you with hope and comfort.