The Fading Flower
Irises Flowers are not discussed in the Bible very often. Jesus did talk about them (comparing them to Solomon's riches), and Isaiah used them as metaphors in chapters 28 and 40. James and Peter mention flowers, but they are clearly quoting and applying Isaiah chapter 40. By and large, when the word flower is used, it is used to talk about fading beauty or past beauty. And often flowers are coupled with grass used frequently to indicate something that doesn't last very long. In contrast, when the word, "blossom" is used, it seems to be in the context of hope and the future. They also seem to be discussed more frequently. I'll come back to Solomon and "blossom" in the future. Today is about "flowers."
I've been thinking far more about the fading of life since my Mom's illness and death. Her mental faculties had been fading for several years, but last year about this time, they took a sudden turn--more of a plunge--for the worse. And after that, not even four months later, she died. For 86 years, a flower had blossomed, shown its beauty for a time and then faded as all life does.
Since the primary metaphor for flowers comes from Isaiah, what did he say?
“A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
(Isaiah 40:6–8 NIV)
This passage does not deny the loveliness of the flower. And indeed as God's creation, they reflect the glory of their Creator by their very existence. They can do nothing else.
And yet, as beautiful as a flower is, it does not last long. Some flowers last for hardly a day. Others last for months. But no matter which flower the Lord was talking about, compared to the normal human lifespan, it is nothing. It grows, it blooms, it fades, and it is gone.
One day there is field of yellow flowers filling the world to the horizon. Later, nothing is to be found but a few twigs in a field. The grass grows up and covers the hills in green. Later nothing is left but withered stalks.
And by analogy, compared to the planet on which we live and the universe in which we find ourselves, we are like flowers. Perhaps, even more short lived than flowers given that comparison.
But, the story does not end with our faded flowers or withered grass. The Word of the Lord stands forever. It is the base on which the universe was built. It is the force that holds it in existence. And when the universe itself finally fades like a flower, the A field of mustard at sunset. Word will still be standing. Mustard Plant Grass in the Field
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