Bloom or live defeated: that's the options
By Teresa A. LeNeave
You may not see how it's possible to bloom with all the problems surrounding you. It's easy to think like that because blooming in a desert is one of the most challenging task people face.
In the Bible, Job is God's great example of blooming in a desert place. He stood faithful even when he was covered in painful, oozing, hard, infected boils. The pain was so great he wanted to die. He scraped his boils with shards of clay, and his wife cried, "Just curse God and die." He refused.
Job's trials were bad, but so are yours. So are mine. He had no idea the devil had been given permission, by God, to bring sorrow into his life. He also had no idea that God would work all things together for his good. All he knew was, 'he was covered in boils'. He was suffering.
In one day, his life was turned upside down. First, his cattle and donkey's were stolen and his servants killed by thieves. A fire storm occurred shortly after that and burned up his sheep and the shepherds watching the sheep. Then, a band of enemies stole his camels and killed the servants who were with the camels. Finally, the ultimate happened when all 10 of his children were killed in a tornado. The Bible says it was a "great wind that came up" and caused the house to fall down, trapping them inside and causing their death. He was in a desert. He could choose to bloom or be defeated.
Job was confused. He had no idea "why" he was being attacked from every angle. Adding to his grief, his friends came to visit and instead of comforting him, they blamed him for his onslaught of sorrow. I don't read where Job ever understood "why", but after being remind of his humanness and God's awesomeness, he did come to realize he was nothing without God. He also learned the value of forgiveness. Job 42:10 says, "After he prayed for his friends"; after he prayed for the people who attacked his spiritual and emotional walk with God; after their relentless blaming, he forgave them and prayed for them. Then, God restored all he had lost.
We don't like pain or suffering. We want to ignore it, stuff it away in a closet, blame someone else, act like it's not happening, divorce it or do anything to keep from living with it.
When I think of some of the dark days in my own life, I'm reminded of God's faithfulness to restore his people. God is in the restoring business when we turn to him with a humble heart committed to serving and loving him.
You've had dark days, too. You may be in a dark tunnel right now, but if you won't give up, God will bring you through. When we think we've suffered all we can stand, God supplies HIS strength to help us stand. Leaning on him is the answer. Finding strength in his Word will restore your soul
To God, our soul is a much bigger deal than our physical pain. I know he heals our body, our soul, and our spirit, but whether he delivers us from current circumstances or if he leaves us where we are, we must learn to trust him.
Most of you have heard of Joni EarecksonTada who became an instant quadriplegic after a diving accident. She has lived 50 years with a dead, helpless, body. From her neck down, she hasn't felt a thing or moved a muscle for 50 years. Yet, from her neck up she is alive as you and me. In her darkest hours she still prays, "Lord if you set me free or if you don't. If you change my situation or you leave me where I am; I'm going to learn to be thankful. By the grace of God, I'm going to learn to blossom even if I am planted in a desert."
It's our soul that needs to know God more completely. That's what Job learned. We sing, "Our God is an awesome God," but do we really live like he is? Do we recognize the greatness of his love and mercy? Are we committed to holding more tightly to him?
In Job 13:15, Job wrote: "Though he slay me, (doesn't deliver me from this sickness and pain), yet will I trust him."
By a heart of gratitude and thankfulness, we learn to blossom, even if we are planted in a desert. Is it easy to blossom in a desert? Absolutely not, but if God has allowed the desert he can allow the necessary rain to make you bloom where you are.