This is a story of hope, second chances and the fragrance of the night.
“You MUST have this plant,” my friend had insisted. “It’s called ‘the Lilly of the Night’ and when it blooms at night it will fill your home and yard with a most beautiful fragrance. This might be what the Garden of Eden smelled like.”
The little tree was lovely and its promise intriguing so I willingly paid the few dollars for its redemption and brought it home.
Admittedly I knew nothing about the care and nurture of plants, so the purchase of any plant was naive. Not only was I not a horticulturist, I didn’t understand the movement of the sun as it shone on my patio creating more shadows than light.
That evening when the Lilly bloomed the fragrance was breathtaking. Its promise had been abundantly fulfilled. Each night I eagerly awaited the blossoms to open up and shed its incredible smell.
But slowly, the leaves began to droop and the blossoms began to drop. Gone was the promise. Gone was the fragrance. Gone was my joy and hope.
Despite my disappointment, I refused to throw out my plant. Maybe it was because of the price I paid, but I think I was just too hurt to admit failure.
Then a friend said, “Joanie, you have to drown the Lilly. Water it three times and day, give it some food and prayer might help. And don’t forget the sun, it likes LOTS of sun.”
So I kept moving the Lilly into the sun, watered and fed it and prayed over it. And then I waited and hoped. Each morning I ran outside to see the progress, but all I saw were leaves. And more leaves. The branches got heavy with leaves. Obviously there was life but no fruit.
I became even more disappointed. I wanted the fragrance; the leaves were just a tease – lots of show and no substance. The plant was created to bring forth fragrance in the night watch.
The condition of the Lilly seem to reflect the condition of my soul.
I’ve been in a night season, buried underground, far away from the sun. My soul has been thirsty for the deeper things of the Lord and my spirit has been starving for more intense study of the Word. My mornings with the Lord are often battles against distraction. And sadly, many Christians are satisfied with spiritual milk and the traditions of man. I want to cry, “WAKE UP!”
Like the Lilly I was created to fill the earth (and the village) with the fragrance of the Gospel. I don’t want to be like the fig tree that Jesus cursed, showing forth leaves without fruit.
Then one day, a tiny cluster of blossoms appeared. Here before me was evidence of God’s restoration. He is the God of the second chance. Those little blossoms was God’s gift of hope, the answer to my prayers.
Day after day, with careful and persistent attention, the Lilly has fulfilled its purpose. More blossoms adorn every branch weighing them down. Each morning the flowers are closed tightly, but at night…the Lilly bursts with life and fruit. The fragrance is almost overwhelming in its beauty.
How much like our Savior who comes to us in the night watch, when love is the sweetest. He is robed and anointed with the fragrance of love, a sweet smelling aroma of a pleasing sacrifice.
O that we would be ready. Let us prepare ourselves, by anointing ourselves with the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus, watered by the Holy Spirit and fed by His Word. Let us diffuse that fragrance throughout every village, every town, every city until the entire world is filled with the fragrance of love!