"Timing is everything!" This phrase has been spoken to me multiple times by the Holy Spirit. The truth of this statement was played out for us last week. We visited a peony farm in Long Valley, New Jersey that is only open two to three weeks a year. The owner of the farm has this short span of time to harvest his flowers and prepare them for shipment to florists in the New York City area. How delightful it was for us to walk through the rows of plants and feast our eyes on the various shapes and shades of red, pink, white, coral, and yellow peonies! Many were still in bud, but even these golf-ball size buds attracted our attention. Workers in the fields were carefully cutting stems to be taken to the refrigerator.
We learned that the ants attracted to the peony buds actually assist in their opening. The stems are cut when the bud feels like a marshmallow or when it is just beginning to show a small amount of color. After being cut, the flower buds are dunked in buckets of water to remove the ants. Then the stems are bundled together, wrapped, and placed in the refrigerator. They can stay there for as long as a month. Our visit to the farm was not complete until we purchased a bundle of peonies in white, pink, and rosy red.
What amazed us the most about our peony excursion was the dramatic transformation of the stems after they were plunged into water. I recut the bottom of each of them at an angle so that the stems could absorb a maximum amount of water. Three hours after the peonies were placed in the water, the flowers were open. The next day these gorgeous heads were fully open, and we were enjoying their sweet scent. Life was quickened in these peonies as their cells were filled with water.
We, like the peony stems, will also come to life and reflect the beauty of God as we take in what Jesus calls "living water." In John 4 Jesus is having a conversation with a Samaritan woman who came to collect water from Jacob's well. He told her that He would give her living water. (Verse 10) He further explained, "If anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied. For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life." (Verse 14 - TPT) Again, at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit is like water. He said, "'All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that river of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like Scripture says!' Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that Believers were being prepared to receive." (John 7:37-39 - TPT)
The Lord has made the Living Water/Holy Spirit available to all who believe in Him. His desire is for us to grow and blossom and spread His fragrance wherever we go. Micah 3:8 makes a declaration that we should confess: "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord." We can expect that we will grow in the strength and beauty of the Lord as we remember that we are filled with His Spirit—that Living Water that continuously flows within us.
Joan E. Mathias