“Open flowers.” They are the last but one in the series of the Temple carvings – patience and fearlessness and purity, fruitfulness and the passion for service – we have seen them all symbolized. Open flowers surely tell of the joy that is to run through all.
We speak of the God of love and the God of peace, so seldom the God of joy. But God is the God of joy, and we must drink in the spirit of His joy. “I will anoint him with the oil of gladness” (Psalm 45:7) and the flowers speak of the gladness that is in the heart of God.
Flowers are not a necessity. They are just an overflowing of God’s gladness. Corn and wine and oil have practically no flower to speak of. And if we look closely at each [flower], it seems to reveal His joy in a different way. “Thy face the heart of every flower that grows” (George McDonald). You can read Him in them – merry heart of the celandines and the pure simple happiness of the primrose and the shout of the daffodil’s gold trumpet.
And we can triumph just by carrying aloft our joy, so that it may shine right through the house, and carry its message wherever we go. “Of all the lights you carry in your face, joy shines the farthest out to sea.”
Jesus has promised that “My joy might remain with you,” and if there is nothing between Him and us (and a very small cloud can dim the sun) then we must have His joy abiding in us.
He didn’t promise us ease and comfort – He was Himself on His way to Gethsemane – but He did promise joy, and we may have it in the midst of any weight or heaviness that may be ours to bear.
“God the gladness of my joy.”
~ Lilias Trotter (June 17, 1928)