The other day I was gardening and found a huge flat rock had inadvertently ended up on top of some of my tulip bulbs. Upon lifting away the rock, I found some struggling white tulip strands growing underneath the rock. Some of these strands had made it to sunlight at the edge of the rock. Those strands were little green leaves but were wilted and flimsy, not strong enough to stand on their own strength. Even though I lifted the cause of their struggle, those bulbs won’t produce blooms this year. However, I am confident they will be nourished by the sun the remainder of this season and show off their beautiful blooms next year. I am sharing this small story, not as a gardening lesson, but rather as an allegory for our lives.
Today is Resurrection Sunday. It is, in my opinion, the single biggest cause for celebration in the Christian Faith. We celebrate that Jesus overcame the power of Satan, and thus our sin, by giving His life on the cross, being buried and subsequently, and most importantly, rising from the dead. All of His suffering took place, by God’s design, so we could be brought close to God. Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we might recieve forgiveness and be in direct, one on one, relationship with God.
So what does the resurrection of Christ have to do with tulips, you ask? Well, the tulips struggling to grow and reach towards the sun are like us. We get hit with all sorts of heavy rocks in this world. In turn, we often waste our time struggling to grow and “be normal” through our own strength. We so desperately want to bloom like all the other tulips in the world. Some of us are slightly successful and may, under our own power, reach the sunlight. We may even grow green and start to look like a “normal tulip” leaf. We may be able to keep up our day to day operations and show a brave face, but only for a time. Even though those little green strands that found the sun look like tulip leaves they are unable to stand on their own strength and end up wallowing in the mud and weeds, sound familiar?
Now that those tulips have had their weight lifted, they can GROW and BLOSSOM into what they are intended to be. We are just like those tulip strands, so I ask you, what is your heavy weight? What is the rock that has smashed you to the ground that you are allowing to keep you there? What has power over your soul that you can’t let go?
I ask that difficult question in the hope that you reflect on it. I also ask that today because it is Resurrection Sunday and this day exists to give you life and give it to you in the full. Jesus died to bring you to God and allow you to grow and blossom in Him. But, you can unwittingly cling to the bottom of that heavy weight and let it keep you down.
So, I encourage and challenge you to inspect your life. Is there a heaviness that weighs on your heart? Perhaps you lost a loved one(s) or a lost a long term relationship or perhaps you struggle with depression or addiction? Whatever it is that you have allowed to become that weight that holds you down, give it to God.
Do you think He can’t handle it? Do you think He will think less of you for your struggle? The answer to both of those questions is a resounding NO! God CAN handle whatever you give Him. He brought back Jesus from the dead…is your trouble more difficult than raising the dead? I boldly claim, for you, that it is NOT. The issue at play here is giving your trouble to God. It needs to be given to God not just with lip service but with true surrender.
I’m not going to tell you it isn’t scary to “let go and let God”. As a matter of fact, it may be scarier than continuing to cling to the bottom of your heavy weight. But, once you make that choice, God will help you heal. He will start watering your soul as you spend the healing time in His arms. Healing will not likely come instantly but, trust in God and it will come. Just like my little wispy white tulip leaves you will grow stronger in the sun (or perhaps better written SON) and you will bloom and flourish again.
Do you want to know how I know? Because I have been there and done that. I lived under the crushing weight of depression and self hatred for nearly forty years. I was a even a green tulip leaf as I had struggled under my own strength to reach the sun, but it was there that I stayed. I didn’t thrive and bloom, any little bump in my road shook my world. It wasn’t until I gave the FULL weight of my struggle to God that I truly began to blossom and bloom the way God intended.
If you believe in the resurrected Christ, then recognize that fact and lean on the power of God to let Him lift your weight so you can begin truly, deeply healing. In so doing, you can and will blossom in Christ, brighter than you ever imagined.
Blessings and love to you on your journey, here is a prayer for you from Ephesians. See you in the SONshine soon!
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.