Originally published Friday, 01 May 2015.
This spring, I can’t help but notice a trend. As the flowers begin to bloom and cover the entire world in a dusty film of yellow pollen, as the earth begins to finally offer signs of life anew after a long, dark winter…my eyes are most drawn to one particular plant.
I love the beautiful, rich purple hue. The way it contrasts high in the tops of the emerald trees in my parent’s neighborhoods, how it drapes in the uppermost branches alongside the highway. Regal, refreshing, rejuvenating—my eyes can’t drink in enough of it.
Did you know wisteria is a weed? It’s poisonous. It’s considered a pest.
Yet for me, it’s the highlight of my Spring.
I can’t help but think God feels that way about us.
Life gets hard, sin gets overwhelming. We feel like we’ve spiraled down into pest status. We’ve failed too many times. We take more than we give. We feel like all we do is cling to and suck the good from those around us. Toxic. Parasitic. Useless.
Yet the Bible tells us we’re the apple of God’s eye.
Zechariah 2: 8-9 “For thus said the Lord of hosts, after His glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye…”
Do you know the meaning of the color purple in the Bible? According to biblesturdy.org, “Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating its dye gave it a great deal of prestige. It was the most expensive dye known to the ancient Israelites. It was the color of choice for those of noble or royal birth.”
And God chose to use that same color on a weed. On a parasitic, toxic plant that only briefly blooms each season. Yet in that temporary burst of color, that “failure” of a plant is giving God unmatched measures of glory.
You can do that too.
According to the Victorian language of flowers, wisteria symbolizes “over passionate love or obsession”. I love that! The entire theme of the Bible, the entire presence of Jesus, proves God’s intense love for us. His passion for us. His obsession with us.
The world might try to tell us that we’re a pest, we’re useless, we’re poison. We’re toxic, a bother, no good. The enemy of our souls tries to tell us the same thing. But the next time I hear those thoughts circling like vultures, I’m going to look at the wisteria, and remember God’s love for me. His patience for me. How He sees me through the rich blood of Jesus, and because of that, I can blossom freely in His grace.
This spring, if you’re struggling to shake off the stubborn remnants of winter, if life has you believing you’re in toxic pest-mode and no good for anyone, remember one thing. That you shine in the eyes of the King of Kings, that you hold a special place in the eyes of the One who created life and keeps breathing it fresh into your lungs. Through His son, Jesus, He sees you as royalty.
So don’t be afraid to bloom. Someone out there needs to see it.
Betsy St. Amant has a heart for three things - chocolate, new shoes and sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. She lives in Louisiana with her adorable story-telling young daughter, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. A freelance journalist and fiction author, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is multi-published in Contemporary Romance. Her ninth Love Inspired novel will release January 2014, while her first YA novel, ADDISON BLAKELY, CONFESSIONS OF A PK, released 2012 through Barbour Books. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to the Tangled soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing and can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. You can read more from Betsy atwww.betsystamant.com and www.writergetsreal.blogspot.com.