For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. (Romans 14:17-18 NIV)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12 NIV)
What’s big, tall, embodies sunshine, and brings a smile to anyone’s face? A sunflower! My mom loves sunflowers, so, of course she grows a lot of them. A funny thing about sunflowers is that the seeds spread. Every summer, bright yellow flowers pop up in unexpected places, like along the sidewalk, next to the front porch and in the pumpkin patch.
Did you know that the tallest sunflower ever was grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany in 2009? It was 26 feet and 4 inches tall. The largest head of a sunflower was 32 ¼ inches in diameter and it was grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983.
I think God must have really enjoyed creating sunflowers, because even though they’re plants, they express a bit of God. They’re so cheerful and joyous with their brilliant colors. I believe God has a sense of humor and loves to smile and have fun. After all, if we humans like to laugh, then wouldn’t our Creator love to as well?
It’s also pretty funny how sunflower seeds spread out and the plants grow in different places. It’s a bit like joy. Joy is infectious and can’t help but spread. If you’ve ever been talking to someone who is smiling and joyful and you start to feel their happiness rubbing off on you, you know what I mean.
We can get pretty wrapped up in life sometimes and life can be awfully serious. Now and then we need to remember to smile. Can you remember the last time you smiled in the last 12 hours and were really, genuinely happy? If not, do it now! And even if you don’t feel cheerful, sometimes just smiling at yourself in the mirror or making funny faces can make you happy.
God loves His children and wants us to be joyful in all things. That must be one of the reasons He made sunflowers: to remind us to smile!
Danielle Dodge is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in Missoula, Montana. She’s in love with writing and reading. She also enjoys playing the violin, dancing, and horseback riding.