In front of our house is a flowering white cherry tree which we planted some 20 years ago. Each year it displays the whitest of white flowers. It is currently flowering and I find it simply stunning to gaze at the beautiful flowers, particularly against the backdrop of a clear blue sky (which does occasionally exist!).
The purity of this whiteness always seems to me to be far greater and more brilliant than any white paint. Sadly, however, the white flowers soon turn brown and are blown away by the wind. As I gazed on our tree I thought of these spiritual parallels:
- when Jesus was transfigured “His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” (Mark 9v3). The white flowers point me to the beauty, purity and radiance of their Creator;
- the temporary nature of these white flowers reminds me of the impact of the Fall, marring the original perfection of creation; and
- whilst our desire should be to model and display the beauty and purity of Jesus to others, so often our lives are ‘off-white’. Let us hear and heed again the Lord’s gracious words that, as we repent, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1v18). And the glorious hope before us is that we will “shine like the brightness of the heavens” (Daniel 12v3) and wear “white robes”, “fine linen, bright and clean” (Revelation 7v9; 19v8) throughout eternity with the Lord.
Peace and Grace