Across the driveway, in another garden there was another tall lily plant growing, alongside a shorter one, but these two had not been touched. Their bright yellow petals weighed the tall stems down and they sagged to the earth, as if they could not hold their heads up. In the past I have put tomato stakes around them to help keep them straight, but this year I did not attempt to aid in their stand. I wondered why my plants never stood tall like other lilies. They always seem to fall to the ground before their time of wilting has come. I looked carefully at other people's lily gardens and noticed that most everyone has a lot of them together. There are not usually one or two in the flower beds, but a bunch of them together, helping each other stand tall and straight. Some bloom early, and some bloom later, but they all work together to give strength to the one beside it. Their bright yellows, whites, and oranges against the deep green of the leaves and stems make a beautiful collage of color...one of my highlights of summer. I believe this is the way God intended them to grow...to be grouped together, helping the one beside it be as tall and lovely as possible.
This summer has not been the easiest, most relaxing one for me. I feel like I have been on an emotional roller coaster and the track has been extremely hilly and loopy. I never know what lies around the bend. I kind of feel like that bedraggled lily, beaten down, and stripped of all that's beautiful. News around the world can get me down, as well as grief of the loss of a loved one in my heart. Little things that never usually bothered me seem to weigh me down, and it is hard to keep a bright outlook on things with my head in the dirt. Yet, that is not how I want to remain. I want to be able to stand tall, even when I am alone, because the Master Creator is the One Who created me for Him to enjoy and love. I do not want to wilt before my time. I want to be a light to those around me, no matter how alone I may feel. We do need the support of each other, the church and fellow believers, to help lift us up, encourage us in the faith, and help us stay strong, but there are times when we will need to stand alone, with only the Lord holding our hand. Like Daniel when he had to face the lions. He stood alone and God gave him the strength to do what he needed to do. I do not want to sag, letting the dangers of the world attack and strip me bare when I least expect it. I want to stand strong and be that beautiful lily that God designed me to be...just for Him and for His glory.