The Story of the Night Queen Flower

May 4, 2020

We have an exotic tropical plant in our home called “The Night Queen” (Epyphyllum Oxypetallum), also known as Bethlehem Lily or Cactus Orchid. This plant produces occasional flower buds that take a few weeks to mature and be ready to bloom. One of the fascinating and unique characteristics of this plant is that its flowers bloom at night and wither by early dawn.

Earlier this year, this plant brought so much joy into our home through its spectacular blooms. We stayed up through the midnight hours watching the opening of gorgeous flowers that filled our sunroom with an unforgettable sweet fragrance. We even had our many friends join us over tea and snacks on those special nights when the Night Queen flowers made their grand entry. Their incredible beauty always turns our attention and conversation to the creativity, majesty, and splendor of the creator God Himself. 

Yesterday was another one of those exciting nights in the George home. There were two flower buds growing bigger and bigger on the plant for a few weeks, but we couldn’t predict when they would open to plan our Night Queen party! We checked the buds each day thinking, “Maybe tonight,” but it didn’t happen. Finally, as the sun started setting yesterday, we were convinced that the flowers were ready for their show that night. We immediately called some friends and they joined us for the incredible sight. 

The buds started gradually opening around 9:00’clock p.m. We watched as hundreds of bright shiny white petals gracefully opened, exposing the perfectly organized stamens and pistil displaying stunning beauty and elegance. The flowers opened fully as midnight crept by. It seemed even more special as we were ushered into a new day which happened to be my birthday: What an amazingly beautiful surprise birthday gift from my Heavenly Father! After soaking ourselves in the fragrance and beauty of the flowers for many hours, we went to bed.

The first thing we did the next morning was to check on the Night Queen blooms. Sadly, we were greeted by droopy, wilted closed flowers. My heart sank with sadness as I witnessed the flowers that delightfully welcomed us a few hours ago with strength and splendor, now looking powerless and practically dead.

As my mind raced with emotions, the spirit of God lifted my spirits, reminding me of the love of a sovereign God who orchestrated the blooming of those extraordinary flowers even for a few hours on that night. Was He reminding me of His matchless love or even pursuing me and drawing me to Himself? The wisdom, love, and awe of the designer God, my Heavenly Father, made a lasting imprint on my soul by His Holy Spirit on that special night.

Why does God allow such breathtaking beauty to fade away so quickly? Why does this amazing cactus orchid grow in places that are hidden from people, it’s beauty witnessed only by the night sky? 

Oh, how we need our hearts to be tuned and inclined to learn valuable lessons from the lilies of the field and the birds of the air!! How we ought to pray with the psalmist, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Just as the Night Queen flowers bring delight and pleasure to its creator God, may we shine for Jesus regardless of where we are planted, even if we go unnoticed! May the exquisite fragrance of Christ spread to those who are around us and may it bring delight and pleasure to our creator God!

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth” (Psalm 8:1).

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