The Parable of the Lily
Ah, how wonderful! After enduring a long, snowy winter, God saw fit to grant us a somewhat warm preview of spring this week. With the sky so blue and the breeze so warm, my thoughts immediately turned to a bag of bulbs that I had purchased in anticipation of the upcoming planting season. It was time to bury those lifeless objects deep in the earth and await the arrival of their colorful blossoms.
In the world of botany, a bulb functions as a storage organ, housing ample nourishment to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions, all while creating a unique thing of beauty. But looking at that ugly, lifeless bulb, one would never guess the potential for life contained therein.
I recently read a child-oriented book entitled The Parable of the Lily. The story centers around Maggie, a young farmer’s daughter who receives a mysterious letter in the mail. The note revealed to her that she was going to be the recipient of a gift…a anonymous gift. The winter gloom was lifted as Maggie anxiously awaited the arrival of this secret gift. Imagine her disappointment when the package arrived only to find that it contained a box of dirt! Her long-anticipated gift was not a toy, a doll, or even an interesting reading book, it was a box of dirt! Special instructions were included: Hide in a cool, dark place; water as needed; when spring comes, bring into the light.
Maggie hid the box in the darkest corner of the cellar, quickly forgetting the gift and the instructions that she had read. Little did she know that the gift was from her daddy, a daddy who loved her so very much. The farmer, however, did not forget the bulb, but lovingly cared for it until spring finally found its way to the farm. On Easter morning, Maggie was overcome with delight to see the most beautiful lily that God had ever created; her lifeless bulb had blossomed into a glorious sight indeed!
I have been mulling over my bag of bulbs ever since I read that touching story. Just as that bulb, my Savior was “as a root out of dry ground,” with “no form or comeliness…no beauty that we should desire him.” Just as Maggie discarded the precious gift from her father, the Son of God left the glory of Heaven to come unto His own, “and his own received him not.” They tossed Him aside, throwing away the Father’s gift without so much as a thank you. The omnipotent, awesome, powerful God of the universe sent His most valuable gift to earth, and mankind rejected that gift. This Gift was “despised and rejected,” bearing our grief, our sin debt, our transgressions, our sorrow. And He did it for me, so that I might have life, and have it more abundantly.
Some day soon, every knee shall bow in the presence of this Gift, “for as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” What a glorious day that will be! But in the meantime, I don’t want to become callous to the wonderful gift of eternal life that God, by His amazing grace, has given to me. I’m thankful for the lesson from a plain, dusty little bulb…a bulb that blossomed into a thing of incredible beauty.
John 1:11,12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
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