It's a process...
Where does the color come from? All the flower seeds and bulbs in the world produce plants and flowers. Where does the color come from? I'm sure a specialist could give me the scientific answer and I would nod my head and smile in appreciation.
My next question would be, "Why?" Why does color have to be seen or evident at all. The specialist would then continue on with pollination techniques and how color attracts bees and such. I would continue to smile and formulate my next question....How does it all work? (Oh, sounds like we're getting to the age old question, "What came first, the seed or the flower?")
We know seeds need soil, water, fertilizer, and care to produce their intended produce. The process of germination springs forth aesthetic beauty. The final product looks much differently than the original nondescript seed or bulb plunked into the soil. Where does the color come from? Why is there color at all? How does it all work?
Our life and faith journey mirror the life of an individual seed.
Paul, the apostle, touched on this process a bit here in Romans 5.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we
rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know
that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not
disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given
us. (Romans 5:1-5, NIV)
Apparently, we who confess Christ as Lord have gone through quite a transformation. The change continues indefinitely after our initial conversion. We go from nondescript seeds to beautiful flowers and that though the transformative powers of Christ in God.
During our lives we are stricken by sin and suffering. These are things I like to refer to as the fertilizer that is already preparing our spiritual growth. John Wesley may have talked about prevenient grace here; God at work in our lives before we were aware. God would not cause us to sin or afflict us, but would use these things in a redemptive way. At some point, we would need to confess our sins (seeds falling into the soil) and receive living water from Jesus Christ (sprouting forth), and become born again (the beauty in bloom).
Paul used terms like: rejoice in suffering, perseverance, character, hope, God's love.
These all sound like a growth process which produces something beautiful.
When you're done reading this blog, walk to the nearest mirror and take a long look. Can you see the beauty God has produced in you? Name the hardships you have endured and count them as part of your growth process. Thank God for walking with you during the most difficult times in your life and thank Him for producing something beautiful from the fertilizer moments. Periodically throughout this day, remind yourself audibly of your beauty brought forth by Jesus Christ. It is something only He can do. Thank Him.