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Give credit where it is due

Harry S. Truman reminds us, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." I wonder how many of us go through our lives just trying to get credit for whatever good we manage to accomplish and totally discount the very significant struggle we have with that stuff in our lives that often might just border on being a little bit 'not so good'? Most of the time, the desert region around where I live is kind of arid, not very 'colorful', and kind of scraggly. Yet, whenever we have a particularly wet winter and early springtime showers, something amazing happens to the desert floor. Not only do the cacti come into full bloom, but there is a plethora of wildflowers that spring forth. I had never really considered the fact that most of the wildflowers in the world go completely unnoticed by human eye. They spring forth from the hard soil of the earth, struggle against the elements, bloom in all their majesty, and no one ever sets an eye on them, or gives them 'credit' for all the hard work they have had to go through to actually bloom for such a short time! The 'credit' doesn't matter to them - their main 'job' in life is to just bloom!

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." (Matthew 6:30-33)

What are the differences between the wildflowers and the ones planted in my garden? Well, first of all, it is who is doing the planting and caring for them! One is completely God's handiwork - the other is a local nursery worker, followed by me, then their fate is left to the sprinkler system and the elements! No wonder God's wildflowers do so much better than mine and look so majestic! That is not the only difference between the two types of 'growth', though. There is also the fact that one is deliberately planted to bring God joy - the other is planted to bring only me joy! That wildflower, bending with the gentle breezes, in the meadow, or tucked gently into a crag on the side of a rocky cliff or desert floor, has been placed exactly where they are by the hand of our Creator God. They enjoy their placement and beauty because it has been designed by God. I doubt if that wildflower on the side of the cliff or desert floor says to itself, "I wish I was in the meadow" and then bemoans the "fate" of being on the majestic cliff or otherwise pretty 'bland' desert floor! Yet, how many times do we "bloom" where we have been planted only to complain about our "planting"? The 'credit' of where we are planted and who had done the planting gets in the way for us many times.

The fact is that God plants us where we will bloom best! In his perfect wisdom, he plants us - some in meadows, others in seeming "craggy places" of life. Yet...in our perfect placement we have the true honor of bringing God joy and glory. It is when we understand that we are not placed to bring ourselves joy or glory that we truly begin to enjoy where we are "planted". It is there that we can begin to be "carefree" - allowing God to soak up the beauty of our lives as he designed it! You may not be noticed by the masses, but God has his eyes constantly directed toward you. You never escape his watchfulness. He sees your struggle to get your "head above the hard soil" of life. He knows how you will "fit in" with the "environment" where you have been planted. He encourages your growth with "gentle storms" and "forming winds". He opens you to the fullness of beauty with the warmth of his radiance, much as the sun does for the wildflower in the field. He does get a little concerned when all we focus on is that we didn't 'get the credit' for any of the work, though! It is in being "carefree" that we truly become aware of how much we are "cared for" and watched over. In blooming exactly where we have been planted, we bring much joy to the one who has planted us exactly where we are! In worrying less about the 'credit' and more about the one who watches over our lives with such care, we actually begin to enjoy life much more! Just sayin!

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