The lowly dandelion has always been one of my favorite flowers.
While I can’t bring a bouquet of them inside and place them in a vase, I do enjoy finding one of these treasures outside. Now, I’m sure all you gardeners know a dandelion is a stubborn weed; therefore, you are probably wondering why on earth I love them so much, but just follow me for a minute. A sense of wonderment comes over me when I see one of these cotton ball blooms peeking out of a lawn or garden. I instantly want to pick it up and blow until every little part of that puffy blossom is floating on the breeze. Maybe it’s the kid in me, or maybe it’s something more.
I recently learned from my less-than-pleased landlady that, while dandelions are a treasure for some of us, they are a curse to others.
Our newly sodded yard suddenly had dandelions popping up pretty much everywhere. She was definitely not very happy with me for allowing these weeds to live in her lawn. I began researching dandelions and found that they grow everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and they actually thrive the more you pull them!
Even more interesting:
The dandelion is first a bright yellow flower that then dies and dries up, leaving it to turn into the identifiable white bulb that I am always delighted to find. Not only that, but as I found out from my sweet landlord, every time one of those white cotton candy-esque flowers is wished upon and blown, hundreds of new seeds are planted wherever the wind blows them.
You may read all that and think two things: 1) Duh. And 2) “Okay, Shannon, that’s great that you embarked on a 6th-grade-level science project research mission, but what does this have to do with anything, and why am I still reading this story?” Here’s my point. I imagine each of our lives as one of those dandelions. We are beautiful, simply because God created us. We are His, we are loved, and we can be one hundred percent secure in that love. But, we are also guaranteed some hard times in this life. We know we will face sadness, sorrow and despair, which can cause us to wither. We can be left to feel like those little white flowers, dried up and completely fragile.
The true beauty of the dandelion lies in the way that it propagates.
Each of the little seeds that are sent into a flurry are shaped like a flat little umbrella. They float about until they reach a destination (unfortunately for my landlord, it’s usually the new grass). Every time an excited two-year-old or fully grown woman (sideways smile) blows on one of these puffballs, we are planting hundreds of new seeds. From something dead comes new life. Now do you see where I am going with this? Isn’t it amazing!? How many times has God used your hard times to encourage another person in their struggles? God takes our dried up, broken down, dead lives, and allows us to plant new life in someone else, but we have to die first.
It is no mystery to God in who your life will touch.
The seeds of hope that came from your tragedy will take off and land and take root wherever God has intended for them to land. That seed of hope will take root and cause the receiver to grow stronger.
Now do you see why I love dandelions so much? We are all little dandelions that go through seasons of growth, change, death and rebirth. God is constantly causing us to grow, walking with us through our hurts and using us to bring hope, always. I am more than willing to be broken for a time if it causes another person to find new hope and a renewed life. After today, may your view of the dandelion be forever changed! When you are aching for Jesus to take the pain and make you new, remember that He is doing just that. The seeds He is planting in you will go farther and reach more people than you could ever imagine.