Our life is a lot like a dandelion. No, we’re not weeds needing to be rooted out of the lawn. Far from it. But I think that we can learn something about how God works in our lives from observing a dandelion. The first thing that stands out to me about dandelions is that they’re hardy. As long as their roots are planted in the soil they will survive both in shade and sun, but as soon as one is picked it starts to wither and die within hours. Just like us apart from our heavenly Father. When we are rooted firmly in the truth of God’s Word we can withstand what the world throws at us, both in the sunny times, and the downpours.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matt 7:24-27)
The other thing that stands out to me is the life cycle of the dandelion. It seems to spend the majority of its time in a hibernation of sorts. Or maybe more akin to a time of metamorphosis. Let me explain. A dandelion lies dormant through the winter as many plants do and in the spring it is among the first plants to start to grow once again. A tiny bud forms and starts to grow bigger. There is life and beauty inside, but we can’t see it yet on the outside. It’s there all the same though. Being formed, growing, preparing for the eventual birthing that starts to occur into a beautiful flower, bursting with vibrant colour! The hand of the Creator is there. He is there in the forming, in the growing, in the time when we think that “not much” is happening. It is in the bud that the forming of the dandelion occurs and perhaps that is why too, the time it spends in bud is the same (or I would venture to say even a bit longer) than when the flower is in full bloom. Sound a little bit like life?
But there’s still more to the life of the dandelion. You see, after only a short time that beautiful flower closes up and dies. It doesn’t close up into a tight, perfect bud, like at the beginning of its life. Instead it closes up into an ugly mass of…messiness. It is in this place of “nothing great to look at” that I think the biggest transformation takes place.
In this part of the dandelion’s life cycle, the flower remains for a long time. When it’s in this place the dandelion is not only boring to look at but unappealing too. Nothing’s there. Move along onto something more interesting. But this time is a crucial one for the flower. As it rests in this messy, ugly state it is undergoing a metamorphosis, not unlike that which a moth or butterfly undergoes. Slowly, and after weeks in this state, the greens wilt away, the cap that has been sticking out the top of the green mass pops off and a beautiful white mass of seeds emerges.
I don’t know whether the vibrancy of the yellow flower or the perfection of the seed mass is more beautiful, but there is something that this white bundle of beauty has that the yellow flower did not. It has the ability to spread its seeds by way of the wind. Just like the wind of the Holy Spirit. God casts away the old and transforms it into something new (2 Cor 5:17). God takes what He has been forming and molding and creating within us and when we are ready, He blows His breath into our lives to enable us to spread what is inside of us with others. Some people spread encouragement, preach, teach, create with their hands or make music. Others spread seeds by administration, serving or interceding. And we all spread seeds of the Spirit through connection with others and relationship with them because that’s just how we’re created….to be in connection with others. There are so many ways that we spread the seeds that God has formed in us. That is what makes the body of Christ so unique and amazing.
What season of life are you in? What is God forming and growing inside of you? And…what are you going to do with it?