Waiting for the sunflower to show up can be difficult.  But what joy when you see it!

©Joy Dunlap  https://joydunlap.com

The sunflower found its way into my hands in an unexpected way.  While admiring dozens of sunflowers and zinnias at a nearby location, I mentioned to the planter how much I enjoyed them. The gardener told me all theirs had been grown from seeds.

“I have one that isn’t growing where it’s located,” he said.  “Would you like it?”

“Yes! That would be great.”

“You do have a place that gets lots of sun, right? It will need that.”

And, that’s how the sunflower plant came to be planted in an unorthodox spot in our front yard.

Its stalk grew and grew, adding more and more heart-shaped leaves during its climb. But no blossom.

Resembling a giant weed, it shot high above ground-level flowers.

That tall, leafy stalk looked different and out of place; it didn’t fit in.

“As it grows, you’ll need to stake it to hold it upright,” the gift-giver told me.

Otherwise, the storms might beat it down.  Or the weight it carried may bend it.

I looped the stalk in a plant stake to secure it and checked repeatedly to ensure it stayed firmly in the ground.

Sure enough, that stalk kept stretching up toward the sky.  But still no blossom.

The leaves began to get holes in them.  Something was attacking the sunflower.

I worried a bloom would never arrive.  That it would never show the beauty it had in it.

Then I began to be concerned.

What are the neighbors thinking?  

Do they think we’re allowing a giant weed to grow in our front yard? 

It stood out that much.

Should we cut it down? Forget about trying to get a bloom on it? 

Doubt creeped in and tried to settle.

But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it happened?  Imagine the joy of the neighborhood children.  Of us.   

Hope and wonder won out.

“Look at the top for the spikes – the ones that look like a ring of thorns emerging,” the grower said.

One day I saw it at the top of that tall stalk.  An emerging crown.

I wanted it to reveal its blossom before I left town.  But it didn’t.

Not everything is meant to bloom when we’re present.  Or on our timetable.

Neighbors sent pictures when it arrived as they shared in the delight of that solitary sunflower that soared high to the heavens.

A giant smiley-face reached from earth heavenward, uniting in joy those who experienced its coming. 

As we returned to the cul-de-sac after a week’s vacation away, that giant sunflower stood tall welcoming us home.  

A neighbor came out of her house to say how marvelous the sunflower was. 

“We were all watching for it,” she said. 

A guest in the neighborhood stopped to share how the sunflower added days of delight while she visited a family member.  The postwoman spoke of how the sunflower brightened her route.  

The wind blew and the sunflower gently nodded its head to me.

Nothing to doubt.  I was here all the time.  Waiting for the right time. 

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Romans 14:12 NIV

  • Does seeing a sunflower make you smile? What else does?
  • What have you waited patiently to happen in your life?
  • How do you handle waiting for a seemingly long time for an answer, a solution, a change?
  • When do you most struggle waiting?
  • Are you asking God to deliver strength as you wait; boost hope in your heart; and stir confidence in the coming joy?

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7a NIV


Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™


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