February 15, 2012 - As I was preparing for the morning worship service at Lakeview Church one Sunday, a man from the congregation walked up and offered me something he held in his hand.
I held out my own hand, and in my palm he carefully placed a small yellow blossom with a short green stem attached. A dandelion. A weed.
Normally, I wouldn't give a little yellow dandelion a second thought. But this time was different. It wasn't because the dandelion itself was so remarkable, either. In fact, it was much smaller than any one of the million or so that I've seen in my own yard, and nearly every other yard in Michigan.
Even the stem seemed too frail and thin to offer much of a future for the little yellow flower. Still I looked at this little blossom with a sense of wonder.
It wasn't the size or perfection of the flower that amazed me. It was the date of the discovery that made me stop and notice.
See, what makes this event so remarkable is that the Sunday I'm talking about was February 5th, 2012. The man who brought it to me said he found it growing next to the mail box on his way in that morning.
I was so impressed by this little dandelion blossom that I held it up in front of the entire congregation so they could see it too.
I think they all recognized the significance of a dandelion in bloom in February in Michigan. After all, we all know that doesn't happen.
I've lived here all my life, and I've never seen a dandelion in February. But does that mean it's impossible? Is my ability to see something the ultimate test of whether or not it is possible? I sure hope not!
As I looked at that little flower, I wondered how it was that a single blossom appeared on that frail stem.
I thought of all the dandelions I had noticed on the front lawn of the church last year. How many must certainly be waiting in all of our yards, content to sit the winter out, with all of its gray, blustery days and its frigid nights.
I'm amazed that in the middle of all the gray, lifeless vegetation, one little plant persisted through the freezing temperatures, and gave the world a real, yellow, living flower.
Now, I don't want to give the plant too much credit in affecting the outcome of this situation.
However, I do think that it's worth noting that the flicker of life in that plant is what brought that blossom into being. It's part of that God-given desire to not just survive and preserve life, but to celebrate life, and live life.
That little plant could have simply kept one green leaf and it would still be living. But instead, God chose to bless it with a yellow blossom, the part of the plant that develops into seeds and preserves its DNA in another generation of dandelions. That's the wonder of the February dandelion!
Jesus taught that we are not to worry about everything. He asked, "Who, by worrying, can add a single day to his life?"
He then suggested that his followers consider the lilies of the field, who neither work or plant or harvest, yet God blesses them with attire that is more beautiful than the robes of kings.
God blessed that little dandelion plant with a yellow blossom, and He has blessings in store for your life if you'll give Him the opportunity.
See, He won't force his way into your life. He's been aware of you since before you were, and He knows everything there is to know about you. He knows the situations in your life, and just what it is that you're worried about.
If you're reading this, and you find yourself in the chilly days and nights of a winter season in your own life – maybe a time when it seems that all the greenness of life has turned to the gray of disappointment and despair, take hope in God's own promises.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote that God has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
When you start to feel like all hope is gone, and there's nothing left to even hope for, remember the wonder of the February dandelion.
If you have questions or comments, or if you would like to receive special prayer consideration, please contact Pastor Jon Grimshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org .