It is an easily observable phenomenon to see plants tipping their stems and leaves towards sunlight. Not easily noticed in outdoor gardens where the sun’s “path” allows plants to daily drink in the life-sustaining chlorophyll creator from all directions, but in potted plants situated on windowsills there is a noticeable bending towards, reaching for, sunlight – thus the advisable rotation of windowsill gardens to avoid lopsided configurations! For plants will not foolishly reach towards darkness!
Nature creates powerful, visual lessons that parallel life in the Spirit. The survival of the plant, the well-being, the flourishing, the purposeful life force within reaches in the direction of light – without which it would cease to thrive, and eventually die. In the same way our spirits must stretch out towards God-light, for that is our sustaining foundation. God, our Creator, fills us with purpose, our true identity, joy that invigorates, peace that sustains, confidence that strengthens, and, most wonderfully, His Holy Spirit. Strange and sad, isn’t it that those made in the image of their Creator so often willfully turn their attention away from their life source and choose instead to regard counterfeit claims for happiness, deceiving paths for spiritual growth, and the darkness and futility of a life lived without God.
Innate within the life of any plant in the physical realm is this automatic phenomenon of stretching in the direction of its life source. There is no deliberation here, no rebellious choice to discover other ways of existing! Plants naturally reach toward the sun – for it is the provider of their ongoing health, their very existence. In permitting free choice, free will, Our Abba added a new dimension to the otherwise natural process of a life force reaching out toward its answer, its fulfillment, its very reason for being. (Ephesians 1:5-6, John 1:12) Men can and do seek other avenues to survive and “succeed”. They plot out other paths to understand and attend to spiritual matters, or they completely renounce the realm of the Spirit and claim that the physical ream is their domain – and then death and darkness!
The natural world is a very effective teacher if we will let it be. Calm and quiet reflection and observation teaches instructive and beneficial spiritual lessons that inform our awareness of Truth. Reaching out toward our life source is the guarantor of our thriving. Turning away from God’s light and love ensures a withering and stunted existence; the inevitable vain pursuit and fruitless endeavor that mark a person’s mistaken placement of personal preferences and opinions above his need for salvation and the Lordship of Jesus. For apart from and unaware of His purposes for His creation we truly miss out on what our life was meant to be.