It’s taken me many years to grow this peony from seed. It only flowers for 2-3 days each year. It’s spectacularly beautiful but so very transient. After three days the petals fall and the show is over. Its beauty needs to be closely examined and enjoyed before it’s gone. I’m grateful that as horticultural students we were made to draw the details of flowers showing the intricate veining, colour, patterns and arrangement of the stamens and styles inside. Flowers deserve closer observation, not just a passing glance. Like so much else in this world they contain hidden glory.
Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
Exodus chapter 3 verses 2-4
‘Earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes.’ Elizabeth Browning
A closer look at this magnificent peony flower reveals something even better inside the petals, partially hidden. This splendid flower, like Moses’ ‘Burning Bush’, needs to catch my full attention. I must turn aside and truly look at the details in full.
The Mystery of God
In these pages I want to pause and turn aside to look for the hidden glory within and behind this wonderful world. I want to discover more of the hidden mystery of God the Creator who is behind all that is good, beautiful and true. But, he doesn’t reveal himself to the merely curious, but only to those of us who seek him with an honest heart. —even sometimes through tears and brokenness. But we can always be encouraged. God always rewards the diligent seeker and comforts those who sincerely come to him.
‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.’ (Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians – 4 verse 6)
This gracious Creator-God, who has put us in this world, has revealed himself to us in the Person of His Only Son to bless us. Unlike the peony, which only lasts in flower for a few days, God’s glory is for ever!
My only response can be one of deep heartfelt thankfulness:
‘ Thankfulness is —
‘Devout by nature, sincere in quality. Extravagant in expression. Unconcerned how it will be perceived. Offensive to the self justified. Over-whelming to the humble. Rightly appraising significance. It does not lie sleeping but is awake to wonder. Relinquishing vanity to celebrate beauty. A jar of costly perfume poured out on the feet of the King.……. harnessed with emotion, humility and hope woven together. It embraces this thing we call today.
It is tumultuous expectancy of good approaching. It is the seeing beyond what is, eyes opened, unearthing hidden glory’.
I’m impressed and challenged by these moving words from one grateful heart in Bethel Church, Redding, California.
I too, want to be ‘awake to wonder’ and to ‘see beyond what is’ with my ‘eyes opened, unearthing hidden glory’.
There’s something very special waiting for those of us who really search for it…..
Next Page – A New Emmaus Road