A few days ago, one of the cacti bloomed in the front yard of our house. It was an orange flower, and indeed it was beautiful. You have to wait a long time to see the cactus bloom. The reason being is that cactus flowers are not easy to bloom. Therefore, when a cactus blossoms, we look and look again at the flower. When a dark green cactus blooms an orange flower, we feel wonder. The wonder we feel is from being moved by God’s craftsmanship of the cacti. We learn about life through the cactus which gift us a beautiful flower after the long wait. We also get deep enlightenment.
Inside the cactus is a flower that will bloom in the future. Just like spring is contained in winter, there’s also a flower contained in the cactus. We tend to think that it does not exist if it is invisible. There are those who say they would believe if you show them. However, being invisible doesn’t mean that it does not exist. We know that minds and thoughts do exist though they are invisible. In fruit seeds, there are fruits that will be grown in the future. Think about a black watermelon seed. We cannot see a large watermelon that the seed will produce in the future if we look at only its surface. But, the watermelon seeds contains several large watermelons, delicious red-colored watermelons. The watermelon also contains many black watermelon seeds to reproduce more watermelons.
God hid a secret in these small seeds. The vegetables and fruits we eat come from small seeds. God’s masterpiece, a human being, comes from a small seed. When a baby is conceived, its size is like a small seed. But the small seed contains a child who will grow in his mother’s womb for ten months. The small seed also contains someone who will eventually grow up as a beautiful person in the future. Being invisible doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Although it is invisible, it exists and although it is small, it has a wonderful future in it. There is a huge oak in a small seed, and a huge forest in the small seed. A person who knows how to see a big tree while planting a small seed, and who knows how to see a huge forest, is a visionary. He is a wise man who is able to envision the big trees and hear the birds that will nest in the trees as he plants his small seeds.
The cactus presents a flower in long wait. It is said that a cactus flower is called “Hundred Years Flower” as it blooms in 100 years. The cactus blooms in long wait. Cacti mainly live in the desert. Cacti are not afraid of the scorching heat of the sun. Cacti do not grow fast. They grow slowly. They grow in long wait. The cacti in our house are small, but when you go to Arizona you can see big cacti that have grown over many years. Especially when you go to Arizona you will see big cacti opening their arms to the sky.
The pastor who invited me as a guest speaker of a conference has given me a guided tour to a park filled with various cacti. He told me, after seeing the cacti opening their arms toward heaven, that the cacti were praising God who made them. But sometimes I saw some cacti dropping their arms. The pastor told me that the cacti were dropping their arms because they were sick. As I was listening to the story, I was determined to praise God if even the cacti lifted their arms to praise God.
I learned how to wait through the cactus. I told you that there is a flower contained in the cactus. In addition, the flowers in the cactus are waiting to bloom beautifully, and, when the time has fully come, they will appear. When we talk about waiting, we tend to think passively. But waiting is not passive. It is important to remember that the flowers in the cactus are growing in the waiting. We must remember that a baby conceived in her mother’s womb is growing gradually while waiting. Life is waiting. We long for something while waiting. We miss someone. We long for healing and restoration while we are waiting. We long for a beautiful encounter while we are waiting.
God is a waiting God and God is gracious to those who wait. “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion … Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isa 30:18). Pray while you are waiting. When we pray and wait, God works for us. While we are praying and waiting, God prepares a good encounter for us. He prepares a blessed opportunity. May God’s great grace be with you whom are waiting and praying.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.