Flowers speak. Not just through their fragrance or their beauty, but with secret codes, too.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “language of flowers” popular during Victorian times? This enchanting symbolic language enabled suitors to send coded messages to their paramours, ones that couldn’t be spoken aloud. The message depended on the particular flowers and colours chosen for the bouquet. An entire conversation could be carried out solely through flowers, with no words employed at all.
We all know that red roses symbolize true love, and we’d rightly guess that the forget-me-not begs that the giver be remembered. But did you know the following flower meanings?
Red carnation: My heart aches for you
Hyacinth: Your loveliness charms me
Canterbury bell: Your letter received
Yellow rose: Jealousy
Butterfly weed: Let me go
Weeping willow: Sadness
The Victorian language of flowers is a cryptic tongue. Most people only see the surface of the flower and not the symbolic meaning hidden within it.
God has His own “language of flowers,” but it actually encompasses all of creation. God is continually speaking to us through nature:
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20 NLT)
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” (Psalm 19:1 NLT)
If we listened in to what nature was saying about its Creator, what messages would be revealed?
The mountains would tell us that God has been in existence since time immemorial. We think the mountains are ancient, but God predated them and He will outlast them. They remind us that Christ is the solid rock on which we stand.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
(Psalm 90:2, KJV)
The clouds would whisper to us that God provides the rain which waters our crops. The warmth of the sun and the richness of the soil say that God is our Provider, who gives us good food to eat.
The lightning declares that God has more power in His little finger than humans could ever dream of producing with their vaunted technology.
“He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings the wind from His storehouses.” (Psalm 135:7)
The rivers slowly carving paths through rocky canyons say that God’s purposes will prevail throughout history, no matter how long it takes.
The might and majesty of the lion asserts that Jesus is King of all kings, He will triumph over all His foes, He is the lion of the tribe of Judah. The soaring eagle tells us that God can support us on His wings.
If we look up, the vast universe tells us that God is bigger and more powerful than we can possibly imagine.
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear and her cubs?” (Job 38:31-32)
If we look down, the little flowers assure us that God is tenderhearted and cares about small, vulnerable things. They tell us not to worry, because He cares about everything that concerns us.
“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23 NLT)
If we look down farther still, even a little ant can echo something of God’s love for us:
A species of Brazilian ant, Forelius pusillus, is known for an especially poignant act of self-sacrifice. Each night, some of the worker ants will seal the entrance to the nest with sand, to protect it from predators. To make sure the door is well protected, the volunteers seal the door from the outside. In so doing, however, they doom themselves to die from the cold night-time temperatures. They’ve ensured the colony inside the nest will survive, but at the cost of their own lives.
Who does this remind you of? Jesus, of course. How awesome to think that even a tiny ant mirrors Jesus’ act of sacrificing His own life so that we may have eternal life!
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NIV)
God’s love, power, grandeur and provision are present everywhere in Creation. As Lisa Bevere writes:
“Where can you aim and not come in contact with Him?
“Where can you reach and not touch something that declares His existence?
“Where can you look and not see the fingerprints of His majesty?”
If God collected a “bouquet” of the most beautiful parts of His Creation and presented it to you, what would it say?
That He loves you more than words can say!
© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.
2 thoughts on “The Language of Flowers and the Language of God”
My sisterinlaw is one of Winnipeg’s leading florists so I am constantly reminded of the significance of floral bouquets for all occasions.
I would like to extend my sympathy to you on the loss of your Uncle Norm. He was a very special cousin to everyone in my family.
Thanks for your condolences, Ruth. I know Uncle Norm’s passing will be very hard on Gloria and their children and grandchildren.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)