The Only Everlasting Flower!
(Charles Spurgeon, "Flowers from a Puritan's Garden" 1883)
The flowers which grow in earth's garden, wither in our hands while we smell them. They are as frail as they are fair. They grow out of the dust — and to the dust must they return. As Herbert says,
"Their root is ever in their grave,
And they must die!"
How speedy is their withering. They are gathered by the hand and laid before us — and they wilt and become sickly, fainting, decaying objects. At the very longest, their lives smile through a day or two, and all is over.
Which of earth's joys is better than her flowers?
wealth takes to itself wings,
honor is a puff of air, and
pleasure is a bubble!
Only from Heaven can we expect "pleasure forever more," and "everlasting joy." The Rose of Sharon blooms through all the ages; and the Lily of the Valley, which is Jesus himself, outlasts all time. Yes, this is the only Everlasting Flower, for He alone has immortality. Why, then, should we seek for the living among the dead — or search for substance in the land of shadows?
Henceforth, my soul . . .
gather your Hearts-ease in the garden of the Lord,
pluck your Forget-me-nots from beds which Christ has planted,
and look for your Crown-Imperial only in the Paradise above.
The flowers of the field are children's adornments. See how the little ones garland themselves, and fashion chaplets with the buttercups and daisies. Earth's loveliest joys are good child's play; but, my soul, you have to act a nobler part — seek the bliss which fades not away. Turn to God, your exceeding joy, and then if your years are multiplied upon earth, you shall have a life-long possession. Or if you are caught away suddenly, you shall carry with you in your bosom, the rosebud of a life which will open to perfection, in the land where fading and withering are things unknown!