Monday, March 9, 2015

Today's Joy: Flowers in the wasteland

A friend of mine gave me these two plants a couple of months ago.  They were green, but no flowers yet.

She knew I wanted to try to learn more about plants, but also knew that I had yet to be successful keeping anything alive for any significant amount of time..

She said, "They don't need much water.  They are actually hard to kill."

I said, "Perfect!  Thank you!"

I did well caring for them for the first couple weeks.  I actually watered them every now and then.

However, for the past 1-2 months (?), I don't think I watered them. AT ALL.

Not a drop.

Not only that, but they've been sitting on my porch and contrary to popular belief, Florida DOES get cold in the "winter."  And we've had several VERY COLD days and nights (yes, in the 30's-40's).

Yesterday, I came out on the porch and looked over towards the plants, expecting to see maybe green or perhaps even brown as I started to accept the likely result of not water flowers: death.

Instead, I saw this incredible sight.

TWO vibrant flower blossoms!

I don't know when they arrived, or how - especially since they had gone without water for so long.

But it reminded me of something.

It reminded me of streams in the desert.

Of the verse in the Bible verse that references streams in the desert…or...rivers in the wasteland.

Here it is...

But forget all that -- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do something new!  See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls too, for giving them water in the desert.

Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.

I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.

(Isaiah 43:18-21)

Hmm.  "So that my chosen people can be refreshed."  I love that!

Initially I read this as a one-time act that God does -- He will create rivers in the wasteland.  Boom.  Done.

But as I reflected more, I think every single day, God refreshes us with His Spirit.

He does something new with us and for us every single moment of every day.

We may not be aware, but it is happening.

Back to my blooming flower in the midst of the potted desert.
This flower is like a river in a wasteland.

Like the impossibility of a river to appear in a wasteland, it seemed impossible for a flower to bloom without water.

In the same way, any time that I think it is impossible for my sin to be redeemed, or my words to be "unsaid," or my actions to be taken back…I doubt God's ability to restore and create something new.

God can create rivers in wastelands.
He can remove the sin and guilt that I carry.
And He can do it every day.

God brings refreshing water to the dry corners of my soul.
Water that gives life.
Life that brings blossoms.
Blossoms that bring joy.
Joy that is shared with others.

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