By Hannah Nelson – Associate Pastor//Kids and Families
Up and Out
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life. John 8:12
Have you ever planted a sunflower seed? They are a flower that grows fast and tall. Several years ago, I was given a packet of sunflower seeds so I decided it would be a fun summer activity to plant them with my kids and watch them grow. There are different types of sunflowers, they vary in size and in height. We happened to be given seeds that grew giant sunflowers, I’m talking at least seven feet tall! We had such a blast watching the little sprouts turn into massive, beautiful flowers. The largest one measured eighteen inches in diameter, and must had held several hundred seeds.
All plants, when they grow, reach up toward the sun to seek out the light so they can grow. Sunflowers, in particular, not only reach up toward the sun, but they will also face where the light is coming from. The sunflowers that we grew were so big and beautiful, at least my neighbors thought so! We planted our sunflowers in a spot where the most sunlight they could receive was to face toward the neighbors yard and away from us! They were reaching up and out to get the most light.
This year is coming to a close, and I know for many of us that feels like a relief. There are circumstances and struggles that we would love to leave behind. But we would be foolish to assume that a new year will solve our problems and relieve us of hardship. We know that we will still face trials, temptations, worry, loss, and more. The responsibility is on us to not only react well to trying situations, but to prepare ourselves well. This year I want to be like a sunflower. I want to have my one focus to reach up to Christ, who is the light of the world. I want to be fueled by His Hope and Truth, through reading the Word and prayer. I want to also reach out, so that those who see me will see light of Christ shining through me. I don’t have to be the biggest sunflower; I just have to be the best sunflower I can be-reaching for the Light and keeping my eyes focused on the Hope Jesus brings.