WHAT ABOUT THE POPPY?

Carefully we had to navigate amidst all of the photographers’ tripods and equipment in the Longwood Conservatory for the magical event. The blue poppies bloom for such a short time and then they are gone.  Why in the world did God create blue poppies and also give us the gift to see their magnificent bursts of color?  Why in His power would He allow something to exist just because it is beautiful?

I JUDGE BY WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN GOD DO

It’s easy for me to forget the blue poppies in my day to day life.  I often interpret the character, size and strength of the God Who rules when in my brokenness I judge by what I have not seen God do.  I sometimes exist as a “functional atheist”. Paul Tripp writes, “I have been struck that if I believed in the same “god” they described, I’d be in a panic too. Perhaps the God we remember is small, distant, disconnected, uncaring, and seemingly unwise.” I forget Who my powerful God and substitute Him with a mini-god. 

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

There is a wakeup call that God gave Job after all the explanations Job’s “friends” had given him for his extended disasters which included the death of all Job’s children, loss of all his wealth, loss of reputation, loss of the support of his wife, loss of health, and loss of peace of mind.  Job’s advisors began hammering away at him that everything was because Job had sinned and apparently Job had committed a whopper.  Job repeatedly told them that their words were meaningless, but Job also could not explain God.  Everything comes to a dramatic head. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge? Get ready for a difficult task like a man; I will question you and you will inform me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you possess understanding. Who set its measurements—if you know— or who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its bases set, or who laid its cornerstone— when the morning stars sang in chorus, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:1-7) In other words, “Job, where were you when I created the Himalayan Poppy?”

our own hearts: small, distant, disconnected, uncaring and unwise

We have the God who has the power to create the blue poppy and Who wants us to realize that the problem is not that He is small, distant, disconnected, uncaring and unwise.  The problem is that those words often best describe our own hearts: small, distant, disconnected, uncaring and unwise.

The Apostle Paul wrote to both you and me: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and made Him head over all things in the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:18-23). Do not forget the poppy.

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