I love flowers. I really do. The shape, design, and color of each one is amazing to me and a true testament to the magnificence of their Creator. In fact, I often dream of having a flower garden of my own, but then I remember my deadly touch to plants and forsake the dream.
Not only that, but I'm not sure I'm truly willing to put forth the effort required to have a beautiful garden. Sure, those flower bushes look fantastic, but they don't get that way by accident. A lot of time and energy go into creating a beautiful garden. Planting, watering, weeding. Spending time doing the things that must be done. No, it just seems like a lot of work, and with my brown thumb, I fear it would all be in vain.
You know, sometimes in life we want the benefits of a mature Christian walk without doing the work required to obtain those benefits. We want that close relationship with Christ, that unwavering faith, and the patience of Job. We want to be so much more than we are now, but we're unwilling to put forth the time and effort.
So what do we have to do to get where we want to be? I'll let the Bible answer that question.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. - Romans 5:3-5 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. - James 1:3
If we want to grow into strong, faith-filled Christians, we must be willing to endure trials and tribulations. They are the seeds from which everything else will grow. No, it's not a fun process by any means. It's painful, but it is necessary unless we want to remain immature Christians. You can't have the garden without the work. You can't have the spiritual maturity without the testing. That's just how it works.
Fortunately for me, growing my spiritual life doesn't require a green thumb. That means I can endure my trials and know that it is not in vain. My effort will bring forth results, and they will be more beautiful than any flower could ever be.