The Desert in Bloom
I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water.
I once attended the NAACP Leadership 500 Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference hotel had its own Cactus Garden on two acres of land, featuring 350 different varieties of cacti. I love flower gardens of all kinds so as soon as I had the chance, I found my way to the Cactus Garden and took a stroll.
To say that it was beautiful is an understatement. The variety, the colors, the sizes and shapes were just staggering. But what struck me most was that all this beauty, all this life, was springing forth from the apparent dryness and barrenness of the desert. With the sun blazing down and not a drop of water in sight, these plants grew strong and vibrant, seemingly in spite of their surroundings. To look at the bleakness of the desert, you’d never expect that such beauty could be found there.
Every so often, we have episodes in our lives that seem like that desert – just dry and incapable of producing anything worthwhile. When our friends, our families, our networks, and our resources seem incapable of supporting our vision. When even our own energy and creativity seem exhausted and unable to sustain our work and our dreams.
And in those times, we should call to mind the promise of God, that He will make even the desert places flourish. That he will provide resources where and when none are expected. That He will send nourishment and sustenance where we need it, just when we need it. See, God is not confined by boundaries and God is not constrained by facts. Just because you think you’re going through a dry spell or an unproductive time, and just because you can’t see where your help is coming from, doesn’t mean that God cannot work or is not working. Just look: He makes flowers bloom in the desert.
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