The sun has been so brutal this year that even the sunflowers, flowers that live expressly for the glory of the sun, are withering and dying away because of it.

The sun isn’t just the warmth and lifeblood of earth, it’s also the most dangerous threat to earth’s existence. The sun can be brutal and harsh, or it can be quiet and withdrawn. At times it reaches heat so hot we can hardly bear it, and other times be so far away we feel we may freeze to death. The catalyst. Being close to the sun and its life giving heat is a desire of many, but to be too close to the sun is death: we cannot bear the awesome heat of the celestial star.

In the same way, getting to close to God is unbearable glory, we cannot contain it or withstand it. But, to be too far away from him is unbearable isolation. There is complete and true balance and order in all things because in God are all things, and by Him and through Him everything exists. He keeps the universe in balance.

The glory of God is something we crave, but could we handle it we’re He to send it down upon us? God knows what’s best for us. Even when we think we are asking for what is good, perfect, and holy, maybe we’re really asking for a part of God’s glory too great for us to bear. It’s an interesting thought that those of us who live for the glory of God could not even handle it were we to be given just a fraction more than He has already bestowed.

Think about artificial flowers: theyalwats look healthy and vibrant regardless of the weather conditions. But, they’re fake. They aren’t really alive. They don’t depend upon the sun for their life support. Sure, they look great all the time and the don’t wither or fade, but they are rough to the touch, they are coarse and dry. There is no life in an artificial flower.

On if the things that makes us alive is the fact that we can both thrive and wither. As the sunflowers, we are real because we are changed by our circumstances. People who are visibly happy all of the time are hypocrites. There is no such thing as a care-free life, an easy ride. They’re artificial flowers. Ever in bloom, ever in beauty, but not really alive: not real or genuine. They fake smiles, force laughs, and try to get everyone to think they they are truly happy, but it’s impossible to be happy all of the time. 

So, when you hurt and are scortched and withered by the hardships of life or the glory of God, rejoice. You are alive and thriving inwardly though you may be dying outwardly. Happiness is a choice, joy is a calling.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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