Monday, June 15, 2015

The Lone Blossom in the Desert (Revisit)


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It's summer and, unlike what I'd expect, my schedule has gotten busier, instead of quieter.  And I considered my options to ease my schedule and bless you at the same time.  I thought about a season, a few years ago, where I had a number of posts that were directly inspired by photographs that were shared on Google+.  Each time, I asked the photographer for permission to use the image that inspired what I'd written.  And, each time, it was granted.  So, I thought reposting some of them would bless us both, over the next few Mondays.  And it's also an opportunity to reshare some very artistic photographic talent.  Let's start with the verse today's photo brought to mind.

Isaiah 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

I saw the above picture, taken by Varina Patel, and just knew there was something spiritually special there.  And the verse for today’s thought says it all. 

Many people spend their entire lives in a spiritual desert.  Not watered by the Word.  No seeds of edification planted into their lives.  No proper tending by the Husbandman.  No opportunity to reach toward the light.


In some ways, it doesn’t matter if people never hear about God or if they are given a misrepresentation of His nature.  Their opportunities to blossom, to bask in His love, to find His joy, are limited.  Maybe nonexistent.  The world seems no more inviting than the desert.  Dry, lonely, burning out growth, destroying joy, lacking spiritual nutrients.  A place where spiritual death is the norm instead of the exception.

That’s not how God intended it to be.   He gave us a way.  We’re told in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Think about that for a moment.  On the surface, that sounds arrogant.  A plea to control our lives as we reach for an unseen God.  But what’s so arrogant about a person who would offer spiritual wisdom to feed His disciples, then willing to suffer ignominy, torture, and finally death that the rest of us might have an opportunity to become one with the Father.  Most of us never experience a love so great that someone would die for us…unless we get to know Jesus.

Maybe you’ve never had the chance to know a God who wants you with Him for eternity.  A God willing to sacrifice part of Himself so that can be possible.  Knowing that some of those that sacrifice is made for will mock and reject the sacrifice.  Or maybe you knew Him and strayed in other directions.  Either way, wandering off into a spiritually barren, dry, hot, lifeless desert wasteland.  No life in anything.  There’s still hope.

Talk to God.  Tell Him that you want the love and the joy He has for you.  Tell Him you want to experience the unfathomable peace that only He can give you.  Give Him the opportunity to change you forever, showering you with His love, guiding you in the way you should live, giving you a joy and inner peace that’s impossible to gain from any other source.  Allow Him a chance to make the wilderness and the solitary place your place of gladness.  Your place of rejoicing in the desert.  So you can be that blossoming rose in the midst of barrenness.  God can be the unseen subterranean river in your life, bringing nutrients from the surrounding soil and life giving moisture so you can be like that small tree in Varina Patel's photograph, growing in an otherwise barren desert.  Choose God, today.

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As you know, I'm trying to take my first trip to Costa Rica.  Kind of a reconnaissance trip.  Spying out the giants in the land.  We're not yet part of the official church list of missionaries to support. Until we take that first trip, then go through the vetting process with our missions department, I can't use our normal channels for fund raising.  So, this is just a reminder: If you'd like to contribute to our first international mission trip, you can donate at Send Bill to Costa Rica.  And, whether you're able to contribute or not, we can use your prayers.  Thanks.

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