“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all,” Phil 4:4-5.
Did you know these cool facts about sunflowers (from SpinFold) …
- Sunflower is the only flower with flower in its name.
- “Helianthus” is the scientific name for Sunflower, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower.
- The process of following the movement of the sun is called heliotropism.
Perhaps most importantly of all is that sunflowers around the globe are a symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration. If you and I did some serious soul searching today could we honestly say that our lives reflect these same virtues? Are we known for our “sunny personalities” or rather by some other less noble name? If you are a Christian reading this then you know that God has designed all of us for these exact attributes the sunflower is a symbol of – faith, loyalty & adoration.
Perhaps the secret of the sunflower’s joyful faith is that every morning it turns its face to the sun and keeps it that way all day long. The writer to Hebrews put it this way, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” Heb 12:2,3.
Sunflower oil, because it is rich in calcium and iron and contains vitamins A and D, can be used as cooking oil, wound treatment, animal feed, bio-diesel, etc. It truly brings life into our society. Our calling as believers is to do the same through practical expressions of life-giving love, “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Mat 25: 37-40
Sunflowers stand taller than most of the other garden flowers, sometimes growing up to 3 metres in as little time as 6 months. You could say they are unashamed of the One they represent on earth; after-all they were made by God to represent His Kingdom, “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth,” Psalm 104 :14. Do our friends, colleagues and family know that we are Christians by the “sunny stand” we make for Jesus every day, unashamed that we are His ambassadors?
Prayer: Thank you Father that we can learn more and more about you from “what has been made” in your stunning Creation. Forgive us for those seasons when we misrepresent you in our self-centred neediness. Guide us by your Grace to look upward and outward to the needs of others.