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A Lesson from the Sunflower

By:  Donna Martin

In walking distance from our apartment a nature preserve sits nestled in the busy city.  It is a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city around it.  We enjoy walking/jogging there every other day.  One morning, as I rounded a curve in the trail, I was both delighted and surprised to see one solitary sunflower growing in a sea of grass.  It stretched tall and straight with its flower lifted up toward the sun.  It was the end of summer, so its growing season would soon be over.  It was alone; there were no other flowers in the field. But neither of those facts kept the sunflower from adding color and life to the field.  It was not worried that it was the only sunflower in the sea of grass doing what a sunflower was called to do.  It was not affected by the fact that it was the end of summer and that cold weather would soon cause it to wither away and die.  Without a worry in the world the sunflower faced the sun and gave me a moment of joy as I passed it on my walk.

As I continued my walk, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16 came to my mind. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (I love the way God speaks to us through nature).  Three truths came to my mind.

                1.   Just as the sunflower was the only flower in the field there may be times in our lives that we are the only “Jesus” that someone sees.  Our world is in need of the light of Jesus.  An encouraging word, a kind deed, a polite action, an invitation to Bible Study, a positive attitude at work are only a few of the myriad of things that we can do to “let our light shine.” 

                2.   As we enter the fall or winter season of life we sometimes want to give up or give in.  We are tempted to retire from serving and let the “younger people do it”.  But what blessings we would miss? What seeds would go unplanted? Psalm 139:16 tells us, “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  We don’t want to waste the few days that remain.  As the old hymn says, “We’ll work ‘til Jesus comes and then be gathered home.”

                3.  The solitary sunflower will wither and die, but the seeds it drops to the ground will produce more sunflowers next year,  which will produce more the next year and so on until perhaps there will be a field of sunflowers growing along the trail. Just as the sunflower had no idea that it brightened my day as I passed it on my walk, we can never know to what extent the “seeds” we plant for Jesus will benefit those around us for years to come. 

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)  Lift your face to the Son, and let His light in you make a difference in the world today and every day.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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