Well over 100 years since they made their debut in America, Peonies bloom in gardens every springtime, in every color save blue. They are known to live for up to a century when well cared for, and they make beautiful bouquets. This antiquated flower is the state flower of Indiana and adorns many wedding bouquets as a symbol of a happy marriage.
Part of the peony’s secret to success is a pesky little creature—the ant. Anyone who has cut a bunch of these beauties to take indoors knows that they will also have a few unwanted visitors crawling around. But without the peony’s sweet nectar drawing the ant to its unopened buds, it would likely never open into a red, or white, pink or yellow beauty. As the ants partake of the sweetness, they loosen the folds of the buds and allow the flowers to open into their charming colors. The peony then reaches its full potential.
Every person has beautiful potential, planted within them from the beginning by their Creator. It is life that tends to cover over that potential with circumstances, testing our faith, shaking our trust in God. But He is using every undesirable circumstance that feels like an invader to make us strong in our faith and to help us reach full potential in this life.
Paul knew this secret, and his fervent prayer was that the followers of Christ would know the power He holds to help them:
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven, Ephesians 1: 19-20
The same power that raised our Savior from earthly death is God’s gift to each of us. When we have faith in Him and allow Him to work through us, our full potential will bloom like a unique and beautiful flower.