this is my goal in life.
I took this picture at my dad's suggestion, of the beautifully stubborn flower persisting to live out of the side of a thick STONE fortress wall in spain. Its gentle presense is not to be ignored becuase it is surrounded by the bland color of stone; its bright color cannot be hidden nor does it want to. It doesnt call attention to itself but valiantly keeps swaying with the breezes. Not surrendering to its vertical position, it lifts up its head to the sun and flourishes under the light of it.
I was reminded of this picture, buried in my bottomless stash of photos on my computer, when I was reading the book "Beautiful in God's Eyes" by Elizabeth George. Its a book i would definately recommend to all women at is gleans from the example of the Proverbs 31 woman; how we are to be rare, precious and beautiful in God's eyes, a spring in the desert. I wont go into detail of all the insightful things i've learned (if you want to know, read the book yourself!)
I came across (yet another!) example of a Godly woman as i was reading through 2 Kings today. This woman doesnt have a name but is described by her status and her generous proverbs-31-woman-like-heart.
2 Kings 4:8 : " now there came a day when elisha passed over to Shunem, where there was a PROMINENT woman and she persuaded him to eat food. and so it was, as often as he passed by, he turned to eat food.
9) she said to her husband, "behold now, i perceive that this is a holy man of God passing by us continually.
10) please, let us make a little walled upper chamber and let us set a bed for him there and a table and a chair and a lampstand; and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he can turn in there"
There are quite a few things to be learned from these 3 short verses. I put the word 'prominent' in all caps because this woman like the proverbs 31 is apparently weathly, which could be just from the riches of her husband, but i'd like to also think, that based on her character, and hard work, that she contributed her family prospering and God blessed her materially. Not to say that being poor is a result of sin, but what God gives us He comands us to do the best we can with it and mulitiply it for His glory. So this woman has been blessed by God and she in turn gives blessing to others with a generous heart, like she does for the homeless prophet elisha, whom she 'percieves is a holy man of God'. She is an observant woman! and does the right thing in coming to her husband with a plan to give Elisha a room, and a nice homey place to stay even with a lampstand. No a lampstand may sound like normal courtesy, but we learn how generous that is, since in the previous chapter and even in the beginning of this same chapter that the whole land is going through a famine! and what precious little oil there is in the land is being used to make bread to feed hungry mouths!
Now this isnt the whole of her story, and its almost a comfort to know that later on in the chapter and several years down the road she too, like the rest of us struggles with her faith.
But back to my inspiration from this picture..... Right now im in a 'feild of beautiful flowers' where im surrounded by people eager to learn and grow in Christ, and im being constantly fed and watered spiritually. But as i start in august at the University of Indianapolis, I pray that i God will grant me the strenght to be like the bright flower in the picture. That i will not only withstand the change of surroundings and influences, but also that i will grow and flourish and be an example of a woman beautiful in God's eyes!