Christian Life, The Eternal Purpose

Seeing Christ in the Flowers of the Tree

You’ve heard the rhyme that “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, in Arizona, its February showers that bring April flowers.

ocotilloI like to walk with the Lord during the cool of the day. Taking walks during this time of year when the Ocotillo and Palo Verde trees are exploding with colorful flowers, I’m reminded of Christ our Garden. Flowers are an instructive picture of the three element aspect of His eternal purpose (Eph 3:11): “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” (Luke 12:27)  Our Christ is clothed in the image of God. He is King of the whole earth. And, He is the perpetual increase of the fellowship of the Divine community.

How does this happen? It begins and continues with a pouring out. The Story, as He tells it, always begins with a pouring out. “For God so loved… that he gave…” In eternity past, before the foundation of the world, before the community of the Godhead created the heavens and the earth, the Father loved the Son so much that he poured out all of Himself into the Son. In loving response, the Son poured out all of Himself into the Father. The dance began. And this dance of discovery is imprinted into the rhythm of all of creation.

Flowers are produced from a pouring out. Let us see how it happens:

It begins in darkness. It begins in the evening. And there was evening and there was morning… It begins with a dusk, a sundown. It begins in the fall time of year. It begins when the days become cool and the sap descends from the branches through the vine and into the roots. As this happens (the pouring out), the tree is glorified with colorful leaves. I am reminded of the Garden of Gethsemane when He was pressed beyond measure and poured Himself out. He gave all of himself into the will of the Father. And just like the tree that dies into dormancy through the winter, our Christ poured out of Himself into the ground like the sap going down into the roots. But then, like tears from the Father pouring forth, the winter clouds come and pour out rain into the soil. And as the earth moves in its orbit around the sun, it presents a waxing hemisphere into the fullness of the sun. The sun warms the soil as it pours out light. The sap begins to ascend, and the tree begins to bud (a resurrection) and flower. All trees bring forth flowers, but in many tree types, they are hidden and not easy to see. We don’t see Him until our eyes are opened (Luke 24:16, Mk 8:25). And after three days (likened to the three months of winter), on the first day of a new week (the eighth day), the Father glorified our Christ.

What are flowers for? For pollination, for fertilization: a pouring out and a receiving, an exchange. Why? For the bearing of fruit: for the increase of the tree, for its highest expression, to be glorified. The flower, this delicate, tender and flexible feature, is the picture of the humble Spirit and contrite heart of our Lord. When I touch a delicate flower I think of Him. He is the Rose of Sharon.  He is the Lily of the valley: the low and humble place, the broken place, the contrite place, the tender place, the sensitive place. The fragrance of His humble heart is sweet and beautiful. The trees with fragrant flowers attract the pollinators for the purpose of the increase. The others rely upon the wind for the increase. So the flower is a picture of the glory of the Lord.  Jesus is the glory of the Father and he pours forth his beauty into all the earth: to bear the image: to have the dominion: for the increase: His eternal purpose.

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3 Comment

  1. Reply
    Donna Batty
    April 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    That’s beautiful brother. I was struck recently at seeing the Lord as a garden in Song of Songs 4:12-5:1 where His beloved is first of all described as a garden to then be related to by her, as being His garden. I saw all the aspects of this garden being all the various colorful and fragrant and choice expressions of Christ in His beloved. I’m a terrible gardener, not born with thumb at all, but I sure love gazing upon His life in His glorious tender flowers as you say!
    Donna Batty recently posted…The Promise of Compensations and PersecutionsMy Profile

  2. Reply
    April 6, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    So cool sister. I liken it to (just how the galaxies are a picture of how she expresses the glory of her Lord in the visual) the Palo Verde tree, laden heavy with flowers, is a picture of the community of Christ expressing the glory of her Lord in the visual, olfactory, and tactile realms. BTW sister – love-love-love your blog. keep it up!! especially the total blessing of your humor!

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