"Here!" He said as he pushed into my hand what seemed like a crumpled mass of dead foliage.
"Oh thank you!" I said as I took it, knowing that it would probably end up in the trash bin as soon as his back was turned. Then I turned the weed over, and a burst of yellow caught my eye. It wasn't a dead plant like I had thought but a dandelion, something that a lot of people consider weeds, but in my eyes they are still beautiful flowers. That unexpected gift was a surprise, many plants were starting to die, the trees were started to change their summer apparel for their brighter but soon to change fall colors, the weather had definitely turned cold, preparing to push us into the Minnesota winter.
That incident was quickly forgotten, I had set the dandelion on the counter and had continued reading my book as I waited for the pizzas to bake. Later though I remembered the dandelion pressed into my hand, seemingly ugly but when turned over it was something good.
I think life can be a lot like the dandelion. An ugly mass is thrust into our lives and we wonder what God is doing. When a loved one is ripped from our lives. When a mother pregnant suddenly start bleeding and she realizes she has miscarried. When a child gets an illness he will never be healed from on this side of heaven. When an engagement is broken off.
Whenever dreams are shattered, hopes are crushed, these are often the times when we can't see God, and we cry out wondering why? Why would God do something like this?
These are the times I have found that I need to press into God the most. When I can't see what he is doing, when the pain is so great, that I just want it to be over. I have found that it is then he is the most present.
When things are ripped away, the things that seem sacred that you thought would never be gone are, we can press into the pain and find God there.
For only through his hand can trials come. Only through the comforting sheltering hand can trials hit us and they come for our good. "For we know that all things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purpose" (Roman 8:28)
So if God's promises are true that "All things work together for good for those who love God" can we not press into the pain, press into the darkness, seeking God for the light, for that dandelion yellow that he promises will come.
An old hymn states it well -
"When darkness seems to hide his face,
I rest on his unchanging grace,
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil".
I have been singing a rendition by Hillsong that puts this hymn to a new tune and adds a chorus which goes,
"Christ alone, cornerstone
weak made strong,
in the Savior's love,
through the storm,
he is Lord,
Lord of all."
God has blessed me and has brought it into worship services, reminding me that even when I can't see him, even when I can't see that dandelion yellow in this season that Christ is Lord and God is good.
So I pray that I will continue to press into his hand. This hand that has brought darkness for a time. Press into this trial, not running away but ask God, "Where are you?" Because I know that he will bring good. I know that it is through hard things that he disciplines me, he refines me, stripping away anything unclean and hurtful in me and makes me more like precious Jesus.
I pray that I will keep looking for the yellow, the promise of good that I know will come just as God's promise of the rainbow that we still see in the sky even to this day.
And I know that God is good.