Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rise Above

Yesterday I took some pictures of the mountain and this daffodil field. It's a beautiful view, isn't it? I have to thank my sister for taking me there and sharing such a beautiful hidden treasure. While the mountain is clearly visible from the road, the field is not. To see it and get this particular shot, you have to climb up a short slope, cross over the railroad tracks, and go down the other side, and then there they are, laid out like a blanket with the mountain as a backdrop.

One of my favorite photos of the day is of one particular daffodil. In this sea of beauty, it stands taller than those around it. Like it's happy to be alive. Like it's proud to be a daffodil. Like it knows it's standing among this glorious display and can do its part to add to the beauty. Like it matters.

I don't know about you, but I have a deep need to feel that I matter. I may be just one of billions of people on this planet, but I matter. I am beautiful. I am loved. I make a difference. I am like so many others, but that doesn't make me insignificant. It just means I need to have the faith to believe in who I am.

Jesus tells a parable about a treasure hidden in a field. He says that the one who discovers this treasure buys the whole field so that the treasure can belong to him. He says that the treasure is like the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is all about God caring for His people and teaching them to care for one another. Being cared for requires submission, trust, and obedience. Caring for others requires love, patience, and a sense of purpose.

These things don't come easy though, do they? It sounds simple enough. Love God. Love others. But something gets in the way of those simple commands--Life. Submission, trust, and obedience become more difficult when life becomes difficult. And loving others becomes difficult when people are difficult. Would you agree with me on that? So, where does that leave us?

It's all about finding the treasure hidden in the field. In this field the treasure I found was a daffodil that had found a way to rise above the other flowers surrounding it. And I compare this 'standing proud' beauty to a person who knows they matter. Significance. It's a powerful motivator. It's something that makes us want to be good at something that will make others take notice, but this often leads to destructive thinking and behavior. We either fail in our pursuit, or we succeed at the expense of others, or we succeed legitimately but we're never satisfied. We wish we had done better. We feel inferior to others that are more successful. We reach the top of the ladder only to realize it doesn't satisfy us like we thought it would.

The problem is we try to find significance in what we do rather than who we are. What we do varies from day to day, but who we are...that is always the same. We are loved, valued, forgiven, and free. In God's eyes, we are the treasure. He found us in that field, and He bought the whole farm! And we are a part of the display of His glory.

So stand proud, dear one. You were bought with a price. And I find that when I believe that about myself, when I believe that God loves me and values me and there is nothing that can separate me from that love--not even my own failures and mistakes and shortcomings--then loving Him and loving others comes easier. I trust Him because I know He's trustworthy. I submit to His ways because I know they are best for me. And I love others more freely because even when they are difficult, God can give me the grace to endure and to love them when my love has run out.

"He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:20-21