Dangerous Discontent – Water Lily Parable

The young water lily could not stop thinking about the beautiful desert cactus flowers the little brown wren told her about after drinking from the cool waters before flying away.  “This pond is filled with other water lilies. Surely there is more to life than floating here. How wonderful it would be to go to the desert and live among the colorful and exotic cactus flowers.”

Unable to forget the promise of the desert the water lily fretted constantly and her bloom began to wilt. “Surely I am as important as a cactus flower. Why must I stay here where every day is like the last and the next?”

One day an eagle stopped for a sip of water at the pond. The young water lily asked if he had ever been to the desert and seen the wonderful cactus flowers. Cactus Flower keithbob wikicommons

“Yes, I have. Why do you ask, Water Lily?”

“Oh Eagle, I dream of going to the desert to live with the cactus flowers. The longer I stay here in the pond the more I wilt. I know I will be stronger and more beautiful if I could only go to the desert.”

“Would you like me to take you to the desert, Water Lily? The hunting is good and I would be happy to carry you.”

“Yes, Eagle! Please pluck me from this water and take me to the desert. It’s a miracle that you came along when you did. What a fortunate water lily I am.”

The Eagle caught up the young water lily in his beak and slowly flapped his giant wings until they were soaring high in the air toward the desert. As time passed the water lily’s flower wilted even more.

“I know that I will be strong and even more beautiful once I get to the desert.” 

The next afternoon the eagle and water lily arrived. There were cactus flowers everywhere; purple, yellow, red, orange, white, and green. Eagle selected a spot with an expansive view of the cactus flowers and briefly touched down to leave Water Lily in her new home.

“Have a wonderful life, Water Lily.”

“Thank you, Eagle. I know I will feel better now that I am finally among the cactus flowers.”

The Eagle soared away. The afternoon sun beat down. The lily died.

God’s plan is perfect.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere.”  Water Lily thought her plan was better than God’s.

God loves and provides for the water lily and cactus flower equally. But each has a season and proper place. There is no blessing when our desires and dreams take us away from the place we are meant to blossom, serve, and flourish.

The next time you hear yourself say, “If only…”, remember my little water lily.

[For a scriptural reference, read Matthew 6:25-30.]

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  1. Dick Marti:

    This has nothing to do with “plans”, God’s or anyone else. God has no “plan”. That’s just a contrived story to make you think so.

    • Lynn Lynn:

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. You are absolutely right about the story. A parable is defined as, a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. As for God’s plan, there you are mistaken.
      Blessings. Lynn

  2. Roger Williams:

    That’s a wonderful message, Lynn … it reminds me of a discontented, envious (and jealous) youth leader in the church years ago. He got what he wanted, but his ministry died along with his spirit. Bless you heaps for this year.

    • Lynn:

      Roger, that is so often the case – we get what we want and discover our desires were 180 degrees off the mark. God’s vision is the only vision that sees without defect. My challenge is to maintain focus…focus…focus.
      I’ve been reading your posts and nodding in agreement even as I sigh over the state of humanity (RealityRevelations.com.) Keep ’em coming.

  3. Dan Cooksey:

    Great post. Envy is not only a sin, but a tool of the adversary to take our eyes and hearts off of what God wants to do where we are this moment.


    • Lynn:

      Interesting observation, Dan. I didn’t even think of envy when I wrote the piece. I was thinking more of plain old discontent and a ‘grass is greener’ mindset. There can be total equality without uniformity. The cactus flower and lily are equally beloved of God but not interchangeable. People often argue that because they are just as important as any other person they should be able to live, do, or have what someone else has. That certainly defines envy. Good call.

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