Daily Light from the Lighthouse
"I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel."
Perhaps you have found it while walking or hiking through the woods; a forest so dense that you had to beat back the brush and unwrap the vines from around your legs. Maybe it was in the midst of some rocky landscape where it seemed that no life could be found. Wherever it was, there you found the most beautiful plant or flower growing where you least expected it. Had you found it in a garden it would have seemed like just another flower, but here in this place it was so surprising.
When I read of Jesus' words about this centurion's faith, I am reminded of these flowers. In Jerusalem, among God's chosen people, Jesus could not find faith. Some doubted that He could even be the Messiah and most outright rejected it. They accused Jesus of everything from sedition, blasphemy, and even demon possession. This Jerusalem under Roman rule was a wasteland for faith. Before Jesus lay a desert of dry and hardened hearts. However, in the midst of this barrenness there was a flower. On this day the most beautiful bud emerged from the rocky terrain and bloomed for every one to see. A centurion, most of whom were known for their vicious and cruel ways, humbled himself before the Almighty Lord and believed that through Jesus Christ all things were possible. Faith was found in one of the most unexpected places.
Our environments vary from person to person and even from day to day. On a Sunday when God's people gather together to worship the King of Heaven, the flowers of faith are in full bloom and expected to be that way. It is the garden of God's love on those days, but then comes Monday. The beautiful flowers of Sunday are planted in the dense jungles of wickedness and corruption. The heat of this world and all of its vices breathes wilting air on the petals of our faith. We are dared to rise from our rocky surroundings and threatened by the enemy that if we do we will be crushed. For some, they do not have to wait until Monday. They return home from their brothers and sisters of faith to an earthly family that mocks their beauty in Christ. These flowers are laughed at and shamed with scorn for believing that God really considers them precious. Their stems droop under the weight of pain and hurt, and their only nourishing moisture comes from the tears that run down their cheeks.
Each of these flowers has one thing that will help them endure the greatest trials of their days. They each have at the core of them the root of Jesus Christ. The Root is not affected by the surroundings; it can grow and even flourish in any environment. While the petals and stems may feel the heat and want to wilt, the Root cannot and will not give up. When the vines of disbelief try to choke out the life of the flower, the Root continues to send nourishment so that it may blossom even in adversity. We may be flowers and may bloom beautifully on Sunday, but it is only because each day the Root is our source of strength.
May your faith blossom in unexpected places today!