“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
Life has a funny way of making you question us question our self-worth. All too often we find ourselves looking at others and comparing their successes with our own. Some of our close friends seem to “have it all together,” while frustration and feelings of inadequacy invade our minds because we aren’t more like them. We need to change this destructive way of thinking.
Let’s take a moment to consider the beauty of a flower garden. Every flower is beautiful in its own way, with unique characteristics or special details about each of them. Many years ago, the beautiful tulip was more valuable than gold in the country of Holland. The Bird of Paradise is a flower that actually resembles a bird! The lotus flower is resilient through droughts and can bloom again after several years of dormancy. The list can go on and on.
As we can see, flowers may be part of one large family, but each has individual characteristics that make them unique. Setting a bouquet of a mixed variety of these beautiful plants in our homes brings feelings of awe, coupled with a sense of adoration and appreciation.
Have we ever stopped to contemplate the body of Christ as sharing beauties and differences similar to a flower garden?
When God formed us, He had no intentions of making all of us cookie-cutter creations. Our God loves variety. Everywhere we look, we see diversity in landscapes, ethnicities, animals, trees, plants and more. Human variations reach beyond a difference in our skin colors and physical features. Our strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, hobbies and job choices differ from person to person too.
Romans 1:4-8 speaks to us on a spiritual level, and tells us, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
If all of us were exactly the same, so many things in life would go undone. So many of the world’s issues would go unsolved. Even between the people of God, if all of us had the same passions (our passion for Christ should be the same, however our individuality beneath the umbrella of Christ varies), the body of Christ would suffer. Youth ministries would never be born. Missionary work would be untouched. Care for church properties and the buildings would not be maintained.
In addition to our passions, an assortment of personalities also makes up a beautiful canvas. Those who are outgoing and full of energy may be more effective in leadership roles and keeping things running smoothly in different areas of life. Those who are reclusive may spend additional time in prayer for the lost. Others who are quiet and calm may be exactly what a shy, wounded soul needs to make them feel secure.
Bible characters were each unique as well. Esther was a young lady that became a queen and showed great courage during a scary time in her country.
David was a shepherd boy who became a king and a man after God’s own heart.
Hannah was a homemaker that desperately desired to become a mother. Each had a different walk in life with different roles to play. Thousands of years later, unique and varied roles are still necessary. Today, they are filled by us.
If we are part of the family of God, we can think of ourselves as part of God’s “flower garden”. He’s already planted us, and we simply need to bloom to the best of our ability!
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10