THE LOWLY, BUT LOFTY “DANDY”
In January of this year, our church did the series of studies developed by Bill Hybels called, Just Walk Across the Room. The basic idea behind the series is to encourage believers to take simple steps to embrace those who don’t yet have an intimate relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. At the end of the four weeks, I was asked to summarize the whole program in a celebration service—what we called in Venezuela the, “broche de oro” (golden clasp).
A creative twist was what was called for, and the coordinator of the event suggested that I could do something along the lines of the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23). So I started thinking seeds. What seed has the greatest impact? A light switched on—a quirky one, I’ll admit—but a light nonetheless.
The lowly dandelion probably holds the record for the most aggressive seed sowing in the universe. My summary wrapped itself in that simple yellow flower that everyone loves to hate, but that has worlds of divine lessons to teach us about God’s mission (and ours) to a lost world.
Take a walk with me through a field of dandelions. You might be surprised what you discover.
According to Wikipedia: “Taraxacum officinale, the Common Dandelion (often simply called "dandelion"), is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Asteraceae (Compositae).”
The Dandelion is common.
It’s not an exotic Orchid, a delicate Pansy, a mighty Oak, or a divinely scented Lilac bush. A Dandelion, if you’ll pardon the expression, is “as common as dirt.” God uses the exotic, the delicate, the mighty, and the smelly (don’t ask!) but He mostly uses just ordinary folk like you and me. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV) says:
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”
In the spiritual world it looks like the lowly “dandelion” person trumps the more admired, appreciated, and applauded person. God picked me, and you, just common folk, to be His hands, feet, voice, and heart in this world. We’re the rule, not the exception; the norm, not the abnormal; the desired, not the undesirable in God’s eternal plan.
The Dandelion is perennial.
The Dandelion keeps coming back. It’s persistent, determined, and undeterred—just ask anyone who has a lawn! Perseverance is a key characteristic of a Christ-follower. So, if it could, the lowly “lion” could relate very well to James 1:2 (NIV):
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We need to remember that what God allows in our lives is not meant to destroy us, but to grow us stronger and better. The dandelion always comes back, and so should we—it’s the only way to win.
The Dandelion belongs to a family.
The Dandelion is kin to the aster, the daisy, the sunflower, the dahlia, and the chrysanthemum, among others. Pretty noble relatives for our despised little friend. God has placed us in a very prestigious family. The kinship we share with God through Jesus Christ, the relationship of faith that makes us part of God’s family places us in exalted company. Paul writes in Romans 8:15-17 (NIV):
“…you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba,’ ‘Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”
We can lift our heads high, not because of who we are, but because of Who we belong to.
I find a lot of encouragement in knowing that as ordinary as I am, I am desirable to God, so much so that I belong to His family and that His greatest desire is to encourage my growth so that I can be the best “me” that is possible.
Go, Dandelion, go!