“You will find Me only when you seek Me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:13
She’d never forget that call. "House fire," was all Kelvin said. His voice sounded like the words were formed of smoke, his lungs charred. The line went dead.
Kara’s drive home passed in a blur: she remembered no traffic lights, no turning from one street to another, not even parking behind the fire truck. Their home resembled something from a horror movie - twisted plastic and charred wooden posts. Nothing to salvage, not a single thing.
Eleven weeks later, Kara turned the corner onto their former street and braced herself. She needed to discuss rebuilding plans with the contractor, but the thought of seeing that empty lot, where her family’s house had burned to the ground, sickened her.
Kara knew she should be grateful that everyone had escaped unharmed. But she couldn’t help wondering why God left them nothing to start over with but dirt … and sunflowers?
She stopped the car and rubbed her eyes in disbelief. Among the dry-looking weeds and chunks of broken concrete, there was a field of cheerful yellow sunflowers - dozens of them - growing where their house once stood.
They’d never grown sunflowers. None of their neighbors did either. The contractor explained they’d started springing up in the lot (and only theirs) over the past few weeks.
Kara stared at the vibrant flowers. They must be a sign from God, a promise that life would blossom there again. The flowers also reminded her of a basic spiritual truth: that He’d be found by those who sought Him passionately (Jeremiah 29:13).
If flowers were known for their personality type, sunflowers would be classified as optimists. Kara had often marveled at how sunflowers stood up straight and tall, always pointing in the same direction. They constantly pivot to face the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. But they also rotate 180 degrees during the night to greet the early morning sun – a behavior scientifically known as heliotropism.
When everything is dark and bleak, the sunflower turns itself until it finds the little sunlight that peeks through the clouds and it turns its face that way. It focuses on the positive.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be like the sunflower? To turn our backs on the negativity and face the brightness of possibility? Just as the sunflower closes up and loses some of its luster in the dark, so do we lose our bright smiles, enthusiasm and exuberance in the darkness of negativity.
Yet God reveals His intimate love for us in an intriguing way, pointing us toward the sun, teaching us to lean in and press on, reflecting joy, beauty, and grace. And all through a simple sunflower.
Father God, help me stand tall like the sunflower; beautiful, bold and bright. Like the sunflower, guide me to always look towards the Son. And remind me that even during the dying process, that their seeds provide life, not death. Amen (by Martha Vetter)