Unexpected Grace

Written on

May 7, 2019

Normally, like 9.5 times out of 10, I enter and exit our house through the garage. In all our comings and goings, it feels like I do that at least 20 times a day. So it is not unusual for me to go a few days without actually taking the few steps off our small porch and down the brick pathway to the driveway.

It is usual for me however, to see Wally off out the front door and to swing the front door open to allow sunlight to fill the entry through the closed storm door. This afternoon, as I did so, I noticed something on the front walk right in front of the steps.

Small and white and thin, I had to take a closer look.

In my amazement I realized it was a petunia. Somehow, someway, the small but sturdy flower had grown up between the bricks.

I had not planted it there. I have not yet bought my petunias from Lowe’s. Every spring, around Mother’s Day, I purchase the small plants already blooming to fill my porch pots and put a few around the geraniums that I buy too. I want to have the green thumb and the patience to plant my flowers from seeds, but I can’t seem to control those little boogers very well, so I opt to exert my control over my flowers where and how I can.

But . . . this little guy seemed to come out of nowhere.

I called for my oldest daughter to come see. She obeyed, but failed to understand what I was so excited about. When Wally came home, he walked right passed it, probably narrowly missing it with his man feet, and humored me when I drug him back outside to show him the unlikely bloom. My middle daughter noticed it right away and seemed to connect with my awe from where the tiny flower had originated, but didn’t really appreciate how this little annual was acting all perennial.

I shared with my good friend Ms. Maxine about this little flower when she called with a work related question. I told her I couldn’t figure out where the petunia had come from and how it had managed to thrive in such an unlikely place. Without hesitation, she said, “Well, by God’s grace – that’s how.”

Instantly, I knew she was right. As I pondered the grace of God that would grow an unexpected flower in an unexpected place, I realized that in a way, His grace was extending far beyond growing a plant to create a little excitement in my Monday. He was revealing so much more to me.

In both my home and work lives, May is a crazy, busy month, rivaling December with all its responsibilities and obligations. Recitals, award ceremonies, field days, a birthday, staff evaluations, parent involved programs, teacher appreciation gifts . . . There is a lot going on.

It is easy to become quickly overwhelmed and extremely weary less than a full week into the month. When do I have time to connect with God? How can I fill my cup with Him – especially when I know that I need Him the most?

That little flower today was like God showing me that He is in the middle of all the crazy. He can be found. In the simplicity of a flower, if I open my eyes to appreciate that He has not left me but more than that – He has deliberately shown me that if I have eyes to see and a spirit to appreciate – He is still revealing Himself to me. He is more than meeting my needs. He is answering my prayers and is continually revealing Himself to me.

His Word tells me that I will find Him when I seek Him. He is faithful to allow me to find Him. Wasn’t this the lesson I had tried to teach the teens in Sunday morning Bible study only yesterday? Today, I found Him in a petunia growing between the bricks of my front walk.

I want to contemplate this small, amazing grace and appreciate what God has done.

I want my eyes to see where He is working, and I don’t want to be too busy that I miss it or worse yet step on it in my ignorance.

I want to value these moments of grace, but I know that has to start with recognizing them as they come.

I may not be in control. I may not know how everything is going to come together. But, God is in control and He knows how to develop beauty around and in me that I cannot begin to fathom.

God, these next few weeks are insanely busy. I know that I will only be able to appreciate these big moments and take care of all that needs to be done with the help of Your hand. Thank You for the small petunia with all it’s deeper demonstration of grace. I sure didn’t deserve it, yet You are extremely faithful to answer my requests of You to show me more of You. Thank You for the assurance that just as You grew a small flower between the bricks, You will continue to meet my needs for my growth too.  .  . even in this particular busy and unlikely season, You are most definitely still at work above and below the surface.

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