desert flower

 

It’s been about eight years since I sang a solo in church. There are a multitude of reasons, but I will say fear has been a major factor. So, as I am preparing to sing this coming Sunday night in our church Christmas program I have been fighting off stage fright.

The first thing I choose to stress about was the song. And although I have decided to sing “You’re Here,” by Francesa Batastelli, my first choice was a song called “Winter Snow.” The young woman who sings it, Audrey Assad, was discovered by Chris Tomlin. Last winter when I first heard her voice, I was just mystified by its beauty, and depth. She sings from deep in the heart, her honesty so transparent in her music.

This fall I bought her album The House You’re Building on itunes. On it, I found a song which has stayed with me and continues to bless me every single time I hear it. The song is called, “Show me.” It’s about allowing God show you how to die to yourself so you can bloom where he’s planted you, something I’ve struggled with greatly. And as I was reading a post a by a wonderful new friend today I found  scripture that I didn’t realize was referenced in the song.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.”
Isaiah 35:1-2

Have you ever thought about what it must be like for a flower to bloom in a desert? Well, to be honest, I hadn’t. Until now. The ground is dry, it’s hard. How difficult it must be for a delicate little bloom to push its way up towards the sun. It’s amazing that it even happens. Maybe, that’s the point.

For some reason I think we take for granted how hard it is to bloom to where you’re planted. And for that matter, to bloom at all. But what’s even worse, I think we often we fail to even see why we are supposed to bloom where God has placed us.

Is it so we can be happy? Is it so we can finally get along with everyone in our universe? Is it so we can be a good little Christians and with smiley little faces all the time. Maybe. But, if we look at the scripture above it says more, more than our happiness, more than our influence, it says when we bloom, “they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.” 

I don’t think it says it will be easy. That’s why the song I mentioned is powerful, I think. It references our dying to ourselves as we struggle to bloom, like a flower pushing up through dry sand, using all its strength to move closer to the life-giving light. That’s what blooming is–fighting for life. Moving towards the light of Christ as your source of strength, as your only source of growth, purpose, sustenance.

In the desert the only thing that is going to keep that little flower alive is water and light, and it has to fight for them. There may be a seed in the sand, but it’s going to have to fight to ever make it to the surface. Have you ever had to fight? Have you ever been in the desert? I have. And I’m believing that the God that makes the flower to bloom in the desert will also sustain us and as we die to ourselves, he will make us blossom as the rose.

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