Sunflowers Bloom (Part 1 of 2)

Just as frozen ground and soil begins to thaw, warm weather and longer days appear. Soon the sap in the trees begins to nourish each limb and gorgeous flowers begin to blossom. Such intricate details of the our Lord and master. God’s handiwork is magnificent!

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With all pieces of man’s wisdom, even the most intellectual have not created such a place with perfect existence, peace and harmony that fits together so beautiful. So much goes into one bloom. Let’s look at the parable of the sower and a sunflower bloom.

“The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. (2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. (3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (4) And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: (5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: (6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: (8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. (9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:1-9)

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In order for any plant life to grow, there are a few requirements. However, as we see in the parable, just because it sprouts, does not mean it will produce something. When we plant green bean seeds, we expect green bean plants to sprout. Once they sprout, our intent is to grow as much as possible retaining a high yield so we have a large delicious crop. Just as we do for the rest of our garden, herbs and flowers.

I do not know about you, but we love hummingbirds and bees. Well, they love the flowers. One of our children has been planting sunflowers every year with mom and has taken over the sunflower patch the last two summers. When that soil is turned up, the sunflower seeds are planted. To no avail, a few are picked off by birds or a wandering chicken every year. We often will go back and fill in a few more spots that seem “bare”. As Christians, there are things that pick us off the path that God intended and out of the will of God for our lives. We need to be planted and take root! Then grow and be nourished to bear fruit and bloom.

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As Christians our goal should be to bloom! Just as that sunflower sprouts, takes root, springs up and blossoms to produce enjoyable seeds or hundreds more sunflowers through seed; so should we as Christians.

A sunflower goes through five stages during its cycle, beginning at the germination phase. Once a seed is planted, the germination process begins. As a Christian, hearing God’s word plants seed in our hearts. We want that seed to germinate.

Sunflower seeds take up to eight days to shoot up. That seedling pushes its way to the surface of the soil looking for sunlight, because that is what plants need to grow. Just as a plant needs sunlight, a Christian needs the word of God.

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The second phase of a sunflower is the vegetative phase. If we were to be a little more scientific, technically the sunflower seed is not a seedling until about day (13-21); when the sunflower plant forms its first leaf. As it attains its first leaf it has entered the vegetation stage part 1. Then part 2 of the vegetation stage with its second leaf.

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As a believer of the word, we first need to become a true Christian. There has to be a time in your life you accepted Christ. If you do not know what this means, read this simple and clear outline. That is really where the word of God begins to work. Part two of that stage to a Christian would be deciding to get baptized. Baptism has nothing to do with your salvation except to show what has taken place within your heart. It’s a statement.

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Next, for the sunflower is the reproductive phase. As that stem grows, which many sunflowers are known for their strong stalks and some for their great height, clusters of leaves form. Then a star-like bud begins to form. As that bud forms, within 30 days a beautiful flower will appear.

Likewise, as Christians, if we grow and grow; eventually we will bloom. Thankfully, there is not really a time line. Some individuals spend time in the word growing day by day, developing a relationship little by little each day. Others become Christians and hit the ground running and never look back. They will often do more in a few years than some Christians do their whole life. Why is this? Is one better than the other? Let us look at the blooming phase.

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The blooming phase is perhaps thee best time for us onlookers of the sunflower’s five phases. It is absolutely breath-taking to examine the unique design of the sunflower and its beauty. On average we have about twenty days to enjoy each bloom of the sunflower. The bees pollinate the flowers and the back of the flower begins to turn yellow. As the seeds ripen we are taken to the harvesting phase.As the sunflower begins to droop it will also start to turn brown. Once cut, the sunflower can dry and provide many more seeds and be replanted year after year.

As Christians, we all want to bloom. Our hearts long for God to do things in our life, that we can physically see! Although we may not see each little change in our heart as the Lord cleanses our hearts and minds, overall there is a blooming phase to the onlookers. If there is unnoticeable change, we really should re-evaluate. To some that received Christ as a young child or teen, perhaps your story doesn’t seem the same as some “great” big change as in the new middle aged christian. But you are basing that on this “blooming stage” of things in which YOU can see. However, to others around you, the onlookers, they see all the blooms. The difference in your attitude when your parents talk to you. The sweet happy response when your spouse asks you to make his particular favorites- and just a certain way. The way you started wearing your make-up. Or your choice of company and wardrobe. As we grow closer and closer to the Lord, perhaps the blooming season is hard to see—> but onlookers will still see it. That smile and happy heart each day may not be new to you today, but as you walk with God daily, it will be new to someone God places in your direct path this week.

Lastly, harvesting phase in the sunflower seems like good and beautiful things coming to an end. However, it’s just renewing itself. A single sunflower can produce up to new 2000 seeds. Now that could be for enjoyment of eating, extracting oil, feeding wildlife, or replanting. As a Christian, how amazing it would be to help 2000 new Christians know Christ! I know the Lord rejoices for one, as do I!!! That Sunday school class you decide to teach, that Saturday you join the church and go inviting people to church or visit some bus kids. It’s worth it for just one. But honestly, why would we stop there? If we really grasped the concept of life after this world, we wouldn’t stop with one.

“The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. (2) And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. (3) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (4) And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: (5) Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: (6) And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. (7) And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: (8) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. (9) Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:1-9)

Honestly, Hell is a horrible, rotten place and even my worst enemy does not deserve to spend their eternity in such a place–> so let us germinate as Christians, grow and vegetate to really let our roots take place in good fertile soil to cultivate the best growth possible. If we sow the seed along the wayside (v4) it’s bound to have some loss. If we sow seed within the pebbles and stones, it will not take root or not have the safe protection for the roots. BUT if we choose good ground, we do not know how much fruit God can and will produce. This is why we must share the gospel with everyone and continue to bloom! Keeping in mind, as the manager of your crop, the factors that create or hinder the blooms.

PART 2 to follow: Sunflowers Bloom

Happy Homemaking! Happy Homesteading!