Every Flower Is Not Worthy of a Bouquet

When I was a boy, on a hot summer day, I noticed some beautiful orange flowers growing along a fence near my home. I picked a lovely bouquet of them and presented them to my mother.

While she was appreciative of the gesture, I was surprised that her response was not a pleasant one. What I was handing her were poisonous flowers from a trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) vine, more commonly known as a cow-itch vine.

She gave me instructions to go and immediately discard them and then to come back inside and wash with soap and water. Thankfully, I didn’t suffer a reaction to the flowers potent toxins, which can cause a painful red rash to break out on your skin.

I always remembered my mother’s strong warning never to pick them again.

I saw a cow itch vine grow recently near the same place where I picked those blooms about 45 years ago.

Since those days I’ve learned not to run after everything that looks pleasurable or pleasing to the eye.

I’ve learned that not everything that looks pleasurable will give lasting pleasure. The Bible says that there is “pleasure in sin for a season,” but only a season.

In fact, that’s how this entire sin thing got started—the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was “pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Eve was duped, and so was her husband.

Our senses can mislead us.

Every flower is not worthy of a bouquet. Every fruit is not worthy to be eaten. Everything that is pleasing to the eye is not going to be beneficial to our lives.

The Apostle Paul wrote that Satan “masquerades as an angle light” (2 Cor. 11:14).

So how are we to know the difference between light that will harm us and that which is a “lamp to our feet and a light our path?” (Psalm 119:105).

As a boy, no one had told ever told me about the trumpet creeper vine. I’m sure that wasn’t the first time I’d seen one. If someone had warned me about it, I would have never taken a bouquet home to my mother.

Even though I didn’t know better, not knowing didn’t stop the danger I placed myself in of coming in contact with a poisonous vine. Thankfully, soap and water prevented a rash. We don’t always experience such immediate grace.

Once I knew about the vine, not only did I stay clear of it, but also I had a responsibility to share what I knew about it with others.

Why would I not share that information with others? Otherwise, some other person years later might come along and make the same mistake I made.

That same principle applies to those of us who have plucked poisonous flowers of this world looking for pleasure, only to discover that the experience didn’t last long, leaving us to suffer and deal with the pain.

Had we listened to the Holy Spirit, we would have stayed clear of people, places, and things that look pleasurable and perhaps are for a season, only cause great suffering when that season wears off.

Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10b).

Jesus wants to help us make choices that will bring lasting joy.

Life will always produce hardships and difficulties, but why add to them by making a “trumpet vine” decision.

If we live life, making decisions based on what we think will bring us the most pleasure, we will discover that not all flowers are worth of a bouquet. Just because something looks pleasing to the eye doesn’t make it suitable for the soul.

Like Adam and Eve, we will discover that if we ignore God and trust our senses, our pleasure will be short-lived and the price we pay may linger for a long, long time.