In Nigeria where I live, it’s the time of the year we refer to as “the rainy season”.  This season lasts for about seven months starting from sometime at the end of March till the end of October. However, there is usually a dry spell during the month of August which is popularly referred to as the “August break”, which we are enjoying right now. [Smile:)]. Sadly though, the earlier rains, especially in June, left quite a bit of a mess and debris from the floods. As it would turn out,  sometime in June during the very heavy downpours, a fence bordering a plot of land on the way to my office, collapsed and literally opened a flood gate onto the main road.  The road became a permanent pool. It was a disaster. The drainage was very poor and so the water was going nowhere. It became stagnant. As the days wore on the dirt and stench became almost unbearable.  And then one day to my very pleasant surprise, I observed a sea of white as I was driving towards the broken down fence and what did I behold? A bed of water lily pads and some water lilies floating on the water. Just out of nowhere it seemed they had sprung up. And they looked beautiful!

As I drove past I began to mull over in my head how it is so easy to miss out on beautiful moments in our lives. I could easily have been focusing on the smell and the debris that was littered all over the place.  But somehow I spotted the water lilies and they were such a delight to behold. There is no reason to remain focused on what is not pleasant if we cannot immediately change the situation or if we have no control over it. I am glad I did not deny myself the opportunity to admire the beauty of God’s creation in those water lilies because about a couple of weeks ago that broken down fence was being rebuilt and most of the foul smelling water had dried up. And hopefully the authorities will attend to the drainage in order to avoid such floods in the future.

Dear one, how many times do we stumble into situations that are unpleasant ? Situations that threaten to destabilise our well laid out plans?  Or situations that frustrate our very best efforts?  They may be few and far between but whenever we find ourselves in such situations I wish to encourage us to remember that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is also called the “lily of the Valleys”.  “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon  2:1 KJV The “valley” just like it’s name implies could be said to be symbolic of the down or low periods in ones life. And Jesus is referred to as something beautiful  (the lily is a very beautiful flower) even in the depth of whatever we are facing. So just like I saw those lovely water lillies in the filth and stench the other day I also noted that though they shone bright through the mess they did not make the water smell any better. I was reminded that no matter how terrible and unpleasant our challenges are, they will never change who Jesus is to us. Jesus will still be Jesus – going about doing good and making all things to work out for our good; ultimately. But unlike the stagnant water which was not changed inspite of the beautiful lilies that sprung up on it, Jesus will change our situations.  I make bold to say that there is not yet any situation that Jesus cannot turn around for the best. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”Romans 8 : 28 NLT Similarly, He will strengthen and see us through it all.  “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.” 1 Corinthians 10 : 13 GOOD NEWS TRANSLATION


Even the valleys of our lives. Let us find Him there.