Amaryllis By Morning
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Many times in our everyday walk with Christ, He chooses to use the common place things to teach us very important life lessons. Out of the darkness of our trial or tribulation will step the most brilliant and encouraging light. Well, this was one of those days.
Recently, I had my third, yes third, bladder surgery in three years. In between that time, I had at least a dozen UTI's and one-half-dozen in office procedures of scopes, dilations, and bladder treatments. Needless to say the last three years have been a challenge to my sanity as well as my urinary wellness. The fifth day after my most recent surgery I was having a particularly gloomy day. I was tired of being waited on, asked questions, hurting, taking pain pills, resting, and on and on. In short I was having myself a full-fledged pity party, without the Juniper (Broom) tree. (1 Kings 19:4)
As I walked from my spot on the oh-so-comfy leather couch recliner to the bathroom (for at least the trillionth time), I had to pass through the dining room. In the dining room window sat an Amaryllis plant given to me during my convalescence by a dear friend. It sat prominently in the window sill - smiling at me each time I passed by. When my friend had given it to me, it was just the tall green stalk and one green leaf rising proudly from a very pretty red pot filled with rich black potting soil. The raw simplicity of the Amaryllis plant is part of its appeal, grace, and beauty. Now what could God possibly show me from this one plant, that would help me, or encourage me in my walk with Him, or awaken me from my pity party?
Bloom where you are planted? Nah!
Green, red, and black go well together? Uh uh!
Out of small pots, grow tall plants? Certainly not!
How tall can this plant grow before it tips over the small pot? Nope!
Well? What then?
As I walked past this tall, proud, happy, plant with my head hanging lower than my spirit, the sweet Spirit of the Holy God spoke directly, clearly, and pointedly to my heart His chosen words of encouragement. Immediately and swiftly he poured down a spiritual life lesson (containing five points).
As I looked at the bud, bulging with the life of the bloom, it was as if hope arose within me. A bud is a definite promise of something to come. On my way walking towards the plant, towards my encounter with hope, I felt like I was dead inside...hopeless, sad, forgotten and alone. I felt much like the old, dead tree stump in Job 14:8. But it was at that very moment that the Spirit chose to take me back to Hope and The Life Giving Water! Job 14:7 "For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water (The Life Giving Water, Jesus Christ) it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. Hope is a wonderful thing!
1: Budding itself means promise.
" For there is hope..." I have found that in Christ Jesus there is always hope and a future. We, as God's children have great hope and a future. Exodus 3: 17 says "...and I promise (declare) that I will bring you up out of the affliction (grief, pain,misery)... to the land flowing with milk and honey (unusual abundance and blessing)." This promise to His chosen people was fulfilled. God is a God Who fulfills His promises. If He says it, it will come to pass. His Word is His written promise to us. My prayer is that I will be a person of my word, a person of promise fulfilled. God rewards faithfulness and I want to be found faithful to my family, friends, church, finances, and my God assigned Kingdom work!
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified (declared innocent) by faith (confidence & trust that) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have also obtained access (right to approach God) by faith (this confidence & trust) into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The unopened bud of my Amaryllis plant reminded me of God's promise of my personal abundant blessings that are yet to come. It also reminded me of the promise in the Scripture that a pastor friend from Uganda sent to me via Face Book, just before my surgery. It was Isaiah 3:10 that simply says, "Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them...". And so it was.
2: When the first bud blooms, there is hope AND promise.
As I looked at the first bloom, Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind... "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 was such a good verse until I had to continue through verse fourteen. Jeremiah 29:12 - "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore... and gather...and I will bring you back..." Yes, Lord, I accept Your promise and consider it my goodly heritage and my blessing. In this world, it is often difficult to find things to put our hope and our trust in. Psalm 16:1,5,6 says it best..."Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup...The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places..."
3: When I see the buds that are left on my Amaryllis, I know that there is still hope left and future promise.
As I continued to admire my Amaryllis, I saw that there were still unopened buds. Those unopened buds spoke to me that there is still hope left for future promise. God never runs out of hope to give His children. There is nothing as sad as a seemingly hopeless situation and a seemingly hopeless life, a life where we just go through the motions, with no direction. But according to Proverbs 10: 28a "The hope of the righteous brings joy..." The best way to have hope is to claim the hope in God and cling to His promises. Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." According to this Scripture, we not only can be filled with hope, but we can abound (have great quantity, be well supplied) in hope. God is not a God of just enough to get by, but He is a God of ample and never ending supply, the God of more than enough! Matthew 12:21- "In His name will the nations (meaning there is enough hope in Christ for us all) put their hope.". He is El Shaddai... The All Sufficient One... In whom we are safe to place our hope and the unopened bud that promises our future hope!
4: Full bloom means hope fulfilled.
A promise is a promise. The way I see it is - that hope holds the same amount of space as the promise. When the promise is fulfilled, truth takes the space that was once held by hope - and then faith abounds.
Titus 2:13. "...waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..."
I love spring time when the flowers are in full bloom, and color is everywhere. It is wonderful to realize that God loved us so much, that He took such special planning when He set things in motion to give us the brilliance of color, and the wonderful variation in seasons, foliage and landscapes. WOW! He could have just made a black and white world. A ho-hum world. All flat. With no variety. But our God is awesome in power and beauty and majesty! All the earth sings His praise, especially in spring! Thank You, Lord for such beauty that surrounds us!
5: Even the Dead blooms can bring hope .
What happens after the blooms are dead and dried up?
The dead blooms are proof that hope and life once existed, AND that someone loved me enough to give me these buds of hope in the first place.
Even at my death, my dried up body that once had life will prove that I once lived and the good news is that my hope will not die with me! Hope is something you can keep and give at the same time. I want my children to live in the hope of Christ. My mother planted the seed of hope in me and I pray that I have done the same for my children. My mother told me from a very young age that I was born to serve the Lord in the beauty of holiness. And... I believed her!
Hope lives on past our life. Our hope does not end at the time of our death. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18says, "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord."
Then verse 18 says, "Therefore encourage (inspire) (stimulate hope in)one another with these words."
Hope is here! Find it! Let it grow! Then give it away! What the world needs now- is hope - the Blessed Hope - Christ Jesus!
Photo Credit: LaQuetta Brand
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