For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
When I often think of my childhood on the farm with my grandparents, it’s this time of the year that brings back floods of good memories. The harvest of the garden, the hay fields and corn fields are winding down. All the work in the hot summer heat has paid off and only the remnants are left. Rest assured even they will not go to waste. At the ends of the garden my grandmother planted sunflowers. Lots of really big sunflowers overshadowed the garden. Whenever you look toward the garden it was the sunflowers you saw first before anything else. This time of year, the sunflower would take on the colors of majestic guardians of the garden. I’d see their yellow and gold tones and with the colors you just knew Fall was upon us.
Sunflowers are one of those things you see everywhere such as on dishes, tablecloths, pillows, and other things for the home. They are right up there with roses when it comes to popularity.
Did you know that even Picasso and Van Gogh painted sunflowers? Probably because they are such a beautiful and distinctive flower.
Here are a few lessons we can learn from the sunflower.
Sunflowers Track the Sun. Most plants are attracted to light but the flowering head of the sunflower actually tracks the sun following its path and moving toward where it is in the sky all during the day.
I read somewhere that sunflowers track the sun when they are in bud stage. Isn’t that how it usually goes for us as Christians? When we first come to know the Lord, we get excited about knowing all about Him and living for Him, but after a while we sometimes grow a little preoccupied with other things and get our eyes off of the Lord.
Wouldn’t it be great if as a Christian we’d track the Son of God and follow Him all day long? No matter what was going on in our lives and throughout our day, we wouldn’t take our eyes off of the Son.
Sunflowers Need to be Stabilized. The second thing I’ve learned about the sunflower is that it needs to be firmly planted in the soil in order to grow. Sunflowers grow so tall and their stems become so heavy that they will topple over if they aren’t stabilized in the ground.
I know as a Christian it’s very easy to topple over if we are not grounded in the Word of God. We need to know what and why we believe what we do so our feet are firmly planted and we won’t falter in our Christian growth.
Sunflowers Produce Seeds. Did you know that a single sunflower can have up to 2,000 seeds? When we think about sowing seeds as a Christian, just think of the potential reach that each of us can have to spread the Gospel. It could be limitless if we would just sow those seeds.
Sunflowers Produce Oil. The oil that the sunflower produces is considered a good oil with healthy benefits. As Christians we should be producing the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith). All of those have some healthy benefits on us as Christians and on others that we meet.
Sunflowers Resemble the Sun. Sunflowers not only follow the sun but when you look at them, they resemble the sun too. Resembling the Son should be one of those things we do as a Christian. Being Christ-like is an essential part of being a Christian.
Conclusion: When I think about the lessons from the sunflower, my mind goes to that fifth chapter of Ephesians where it’s talking about following God and all the ways we are to act as Christians. It starts out in the first couple verses by saying,
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. Ephesians 5:1,2
The chapter goes on in detail on various topics of Christian living and mentions all those bad things we are to avoid, starting with “fornication” and it goes on from there.
In verses 15 and 16 it says,
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
I’m not going to type the entire chapter out here but I think that whole chapter is so important as guidance to our everyday Christian lives. It is what getting up and following the Son all day and being a SON flower is all about.
It boils down to walking in the spirit, following God, and living Christ-like as a Christian should. We’ve got to live that way in order to “redeem the time” and spread the Gospel of Christ. .
So, are you living like a SON-flower?