Opening A Peony Bloom

peonyantsThis is another “ant trail” that is a little off the verse-by-verse study of the Song, but I want to share something really cool that I saw. For those who know, I live next door to my Mom, and she has (which came with her house) a lot of flower gardens that need tending. I have to admit that I’m not doing very well at keeping the chaos at bay. (and neither is she) :/
One day I noticed a bush with dozens of round fuchsia-tinged blooms.  At first I was amazed they would ever open to be a flower, as they were so tightly wadded up. Then I saw them crawling with black ants, and wondered. Either it was an infestation, or there was something symbiotic between the ants and the buds.
Later I looked it up, and found out that it was a peony bush, and the ants in fact do appear to have some importance to the flowers!  The ants are after the sweet nectar on the immature blooms.  It is believed that the nectar sometimes runs so thick that it prevents the blooms from opening, and the ants are helping to open them by licking the nectar!
Nature abounds with so many parables. Like the bees that pollinate because they too love nectar (this link will take you to a great post about this, by Jamal Jivanjee), this is yet another reminder to me of the work of the Kingdom that is accomplished in simply doing what we love to do out of the new identity and indwelling life of the Lord Jesus inside us. The striving and pursuit of ‘being used of God’ that is so tormenting in the young believer (and put on as guilt trip in the religious system) is not natural to the Intimate Kingdom of Christ, anymore than sweating and tilling the soil is natural to the Garden of Eden. The ants weren’t consciously thinking about, or trying to open the blooms. They simply love the nectar, and beautiful things happen!
One of my favorite quotes by a friend is, “The hardest thing you will ever do is nothing,” and I know this to be so true. It may look like foolishness to live free of concern and trust the Lord for our daily and future needs. It may look like a waste of time spending most our time sitting at the feet of Jesus, intimately relating to Him and with those He now dwells in. However there is nothing more desirable to the Lord, and useful to the world, than to dwell in this place of child-like first-love and freedom.  We can count on it. Actively choosing to love Him and seek first His Kingdom will ‘naturally’ open the budding hearts of all who desire His eternal romance.
So let’s get busy doing nothing! :)

In Love,
Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful of women?” asked the young virgins, “We wish to seek him with you.”

The Shulamite answered, “Follow me. My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of balsam, to pasture his flock in the gardens and gather lilies there. For I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”   From Song 6:1-3


peonybushUPDATE:  The flowers suddenly popped open and are blooming in full glory.   The ants are gone.  I got a kick out of imagining the following scenario…

“After the ant’s season of nectar licking was over, they walked away through the grass to go wherever ants go.  One of them looked back and saw the flowers in bloom, and wondered to itself, “Hmm, How did *that* happen?”  :)


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  1. Yes yes yes let’s explore together the beauty and fulfilment of His rest. Exploring together the wonder that is set before us in The Kingdom of The Son He Loves.

    I’ve had the great honor and pleasure to spend the past few days being led by my almost 3 year old grandson. To have him lead me as we explore ants, bees, bugs, and whatever catches his eye. To see how relaxed and carefree his heart is. Zeke lives in the moment trusting those who watch over him to priovide his every need. Our most common conversation is “I Love you”.


  2. Great post. I lived in my grandma’s log cabin for my first seven years. Her favorite flowers were peonies and we had clumps and clumps and rows upon rows of them between the cabin and the pump house. So, as a toddler, I spent a lot of time fascinated by the ants.

  3. Love this & love you, Pam! You are so blessed with insight!

  4. I love being gainfully employed in this Kingdom and enjoy telling people that I LIVE for a living :-D The fun conversations that this brings usually causes frustration and attitudes but if they stick with me for a bit it usually turns to intrigue and jealousy .You are right about it being difficult but well worth the lack of effort.
    See what I did there my love ;-)

    • Ana on 05/30/2014 at 11:30 pm
    • Reply

    Beautiful Post Pam! One could only see what you saw in the garden if one sat still long enough
    to see the creation, and how God can use it to speak to us. Love it!!

    • Marsela Sava on 05/31/2014 at 2:41 am
    • Reply


    This post brought to my mind, ” Martha, Martha you are worried and troubled about many things…” But you see the problem with Martha is, not only does she herself, but she demands the ridiculous from Mary as well. And all Marys will have their Marthas…..How can a heart that is full of exercises and busy service be free to gaze and worship? And our first call is to worship, for such the Father is seeking.
    Mary’s object of gaze is one other than self, she is the childlike. Martha’s object of gaze is self, and she is restless. May we all be Marys who sit at His feet engrossing ourselves with Him and marvel!

    P.S love Vinny’s “I LIVE for a living”

  5. I’m a little behind on responding, but I want to thank you all so much for your comments! You encourage my heart. Let’s meet up on the blooms!

    • Nischelle on 06/18/2014 at 10:24 am
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    I love when you share the divine inspiration and insight that comes in your everyday life. Your words reminded me of this quote…. “alright, flowers. here’s your part, and trust me, it is a glorious part. you will adorn the heads of royals. you will grace tables of the mighty. and the weak. you will display my beauty in all places and you will literally stop weary travelers in their tracks. they will stop and they will breathe. they will smile and they will rest. your part in this great story is this – stand there, grow – stand there and display my beauty, my glory. i will show my great care and attention through you.” ~Alison Luna

    1. Mmmm, Love that!!

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