Since coming to Mexico I have really enjoyed potting plants. The weather here is perfect for the pursuit and there something about a plant in a pot that enamors me. I like holding the dark, rich mossy potting soil and watching it fall from my fingers—and pressing the uprooted  plant securely into its new home.  Working among the pots brings a lot of spiritual analogies to my restless, wandering mind— like the  ”jars of clay” metaphor Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 4:7, likening us to earthen pots that contain precious treasure. Time seems to stand still as I meditate on the wonder of God.

One of the highlights for me in this whole process has been the delightful moment of discovery, when step out onto our roof-top veranda to find a fresh bloom on one of our plants. Whether gardenias, jasmine or hibiscus—all the blooms are great moments of joy for me, opportunities to appreciate God’s creative genius and to thank Him for caring enough to work out the magnificent details of each bloom just so someone like me could enjoy the sight—and the fragrance, of His glory.

I still remember the morning I strolled out and discovered our first bloom—a bright pink hibiscus that screamed “Look at me! Look at me!” to all passers-by. That discovery was sweet! But disappointment followed when I soon realized that blooms, no matter how spectacular, don’t last. Gorgeous in their time, they live out their brief moments of glory and, sooner than anyone could hope, they wither and fall from their perch, making room for other fresh, new mornings of discovery.

Life here on earth is like that. Our time to shine in life is brief (Psalm 103:15-17). The analogy isn’t perfect. We all have, in fact, multiple opportunities to bloom in our lives. But next to eternity, our lives as a whole are like a fascinating bloom that burgeons only to wither over the course of a day or two. No one can take our place—and our bloom ultimately cannot be squelched by circumstances, limited by our place in life or denied by the enemy of our souls—because God is, in the end, our audience of One. We are crafted for His glory, and His alone.

It’s a sobering thought to realize things will go on without us, that we are  expendable, that a million blooms will follow long after we’re gone.  But as I ponder the thought and focus on the faithfulness of God, I know, deep in my heart, that His work in me has just begun—and the best is always yet to come (Eph. 2:7,10).