Growth Journal Security & Identity

Small but Significant: A Lesson from Daisies and Sunflowers

[The Daisy Complex]

I love sunflowers. They’re bright and alive, their sunny petals raised towards the skies. Eye-catching. Beautiful. The center of attention. Sunflowers are easily the stars of the garden, singing of their Creator’s glory.

I wanted to be a sunflower—prominent and visible.

But I felt like a daisy.

I was small in the midst of great trees, wanting to be like the other plants. Coveting their form. Desiring their beauty, their height, their song. My “growth” didn’t seem to be as vibrant. Once again, comparison got the best of me.

She has more talent. He has more visibility. She has a more fruitful ministry. She is a better writer. He has more. She is more. They’re doing more than I could.

But at the end of these pitiful thoughts, I realized it was sinful to compare my growth to others. Behind my comparisons lay the deceitful monster called pride.

Peeling back the layers of my heart, God showed me that I compared myself to others because I wanted some of the glory that came with succeeding for Christ. But my efforts, growth, and fruit should make Him increase, to magnify His glory, while I decreased.

The world should be paying attention to Him…not to the flowers that sing to Him.

Still, even that humbling realization made me feel worse about myself and impatient with my own growth. I felt small and hidden. And yes, less significant compared to the sunflowers who seemed to have everything figured out.

The world should be paying attention to Him…not to the flowers that sing to Him.

[What Truly Matters]

In the week that I struggled with these insecurities, I came across a passage on David:

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

(1 Samuel 16: 8-12)

David was still a teenager in the passage above. He was destined to become the next King of Israel. He started out small. And not just small, but utterly hidden. Even his own father wrote him off as insignificant.

Samuel, the prophet, came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next King of Israel. Jesse proudly presented all of his sons. Except David, the youngest guy who was taking care of the sheep in the back. That’s where David usually was—out in the open field, invisible to the world. He spent his days defending his flock and worshiping God with his harp.

Though his own father overlooked him, David was secure in His Creator.

Samuel eventually calls for David and anoints him. That overlooked shepherd became the next king of Israel.

As I read, it hit me.

David grew in secret. In his season of hiddenness, away from the temptation of pride, he cultivated himself in the Lord. He may have already possessed some impressive characteristics (he was handsome, brave, and talented), but what made ALL the difference was that he was skilled in worship.

He was trained in focusing on God and magnifying His glory. While God kept him hidden, David delighted himself in God’s presence. The young psalmist was experienced in conversing with the LORD. He was familiar with the intricacies of His Creator’s heart. He deeply and personally knew the LORD.

It’s no wonder that David was called “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14)

Instead of comparing myself to others or wanting to be a sunflower, the only thing that really should have mattered was dwelling in Him.

It hit me again.

Instead of comparing myself to others or wanting to be a sunflower, the only thing that really should have mattered was dwelling in Him. Finding wholeness in Christ was my true need. To worship Him and to cultivate the intimacy between us? That should be the only thing that mattered.

The deeper our intimacy with Christ, the greater our wholeness and joy (Psalm 16:11).

What use is visibility to the world, when like David, I could have the LORD as my true audience? What use is recognition and glory from the world, when I could have the honor of spending my days in His presence? (Psalm 84:10)

The deeper our intimacy with Christ, the greater our wholeness and joy (Psalm 16:11).

[Even if You Feel Small, He Still Sees You as Significant]

See, you think you’re merely a daisy in a garden of sunflowers, but that’s not how I see you.

A picture of a garden popped up in my head. I saw a row of daisies and a variety of other flowers—big, small, great, tiny. In a split second, all of them transformed, poofing into rows of sunflowers.

You need to stop comparing yourself to others. Because in My view, greatness is not the same as the world’s. It’s not the same as yours.

Your significance is not based on your popularity or status.

Your significance is not based on how successful you are in this world.

Your worth does not hinge on how people regard you.

Your worth is not even based on how much you “perform” for Me.

My mind sees a picture of bright sunflowers.

You’re all sunflowers to me—each one significant and alive. Despite the seasons of hiddenness, waiting and the process of molding.  

Daisies. Moss. Lilies. Orchids. Cacti. Sunflowers. They are different, yes, but all equally beautiful to Him. Despite their seasons. Despite their varying degrees of growth. (Psalm 139:14) 

[A Real-Life Sunflower]

A day after reading that passage on David, I came home from work and saw it in the kitchen.

That bright, yellow beauty was perched on the counter. It had fuzzy stems and lush leaves. A strip of sunlight hung over its pretty face.

I imagined that sunflower was grinning at me, saying, “Hey, don’t mind me. I’m just hanging around, waiting for you to see me. Surprise!”

Talk about a sweet coincidence! (Which was probably not a coincidence to God after all.)

A friend of my mother randomly decided to buy a sunflower and drop it off at our house.  And there it was, strategically positioned for me to come face-to-face with it.

A wave of awe washed over me. It felt as if God held it out, tangibly and thoughtfully reminding me how precious my season was to Him.

It also felt like a huge rebuke. I should have believed Him without wavering. It was humbling. I cradled the sunflower and placed in our garden, realizing how beautiful God really is. 

The Actual Sunflower I Received

I struggled with the world’s definition of success and growth. I was a mere daisy to its standard. 

But that was the beautiful catch.

“Mere” wasn’t in God’s vocabulary. Every flower is as beautiful as a sunflower to Him.

Just as the Sunflower lifts its head to greet the sky, so are our hearts fashioned to look to Christ and find wholeness in Him alone–whatever season of hiddenness, growth, or visibility we are in.

Just as the Sunflower lifts its head to greet the sky, so are our hearts fashioned to look to Christ and find wholeness in Him alone — whatever season of hiddenness, growth, or visibility we are in.

Dear Reader,

I pray this testimony encourages you to seize your season of hiddenness as an opportunity to deepen intimacy with Christ and to yield to His work in you.  You are loved. You are called to draw near to Him first. By His grace, He is the One who enables you to grow.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)

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2 Comments

  1. This is just what I needed to hear today! The Lord works in mysterious ways! Thank you for the wonderful article! I love your writing style!

    1. Author says:

      Thank you so much! Glad it encouraged you! Praise God! <3

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