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I know this season is unexpected, weird, strange, uneasy, frustrating and so many other things. It’s hard to put into words everything we could be feeling surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. It seems like a scare tactic the enemy is so keenly using to plot against us, to turn our eyes off the Father and to make us forget of those promises God longed told us. But, may I be an echo reverberating – none of this is catching God off guard. He is right here in the midst of the chaos and the uncertainty. I stand firm in believing that what the enemy is meaning for evil, God will turn it for good. I know it looks bleak and I know we can’t see the end, but He knows. He knows the end just as well as He knew the beginning, and here in the middle He sees us. He spoke “Way Maker” to me in March and I had no idea how much we would need that promise. But for April, to keep building on the promise of a Way Maker, there is a deep stir in my spirit for us to bloom.
It might seem like an overstep or another word thrown at you. But, I can’t shake it. I can’t shake the call to rise up and bloom in this season. In the movie, Mulan, her father tells her, “ The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” Sounds fitting, right? We are flowers in adversity and this blooming is meant to be a gift to those around us.
Here’s a little flower 101 science – flowers are also called blooms or blossoms. The main purpose of a flower is to reproduce and that reproduction happens through pollination. The purpose of pollination is for the seeds or the fruit of the flower to be started over. All parts – water, soil, air and the sun – help the seed germinate, grow and then bloom thus, starting the cycle I just mentioned all over. Plus, once that flower blooms, it lets off an aroma that is attractive to pollinators like bees or butterflies, and even us.
The season just turned spring the day after I started my own self-isolation. I was disheartened, anxious and confused. I spent a lot of time outside that day in the sunshine and my attention was pointed towards the birds, bees and the flowers. They were all functioning as if nothing in the world was changing. That’s when I was reminded of Matthew 6:25-34. He clothes the lilies of the field. He cares for the birds flying overhead. And, more importantly, He cares for you and me. Peace surrounded my mind as I began to rest knowing that no matter how long we are to sit in this season, He has everything under control. Just because you or I feel out of control, we serve an unshakeable God who has it in control. Just like the blooming flowers, there is a call for us to mimic and begin to let off our pleasing aroma as daughters of the Most High King. The more we spend time with Him in this season – studying His Word, praying and leaning into His presence – our aroma will get stronger. As we begin to grow, our seed will take root, becoming gardens and welcoming people to Christ.
It’s also no coincidence that a few days from now we will remember Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. In that garden He cried and petitioned between Heaven, Hell and Earth before He walked a road to Golgotha. Gethsemane is most known for the olives that grow there. To get the oil from the olive, there is a pressing. Christ was pressed that night, so much so the Bible says He was sweating blood. His love for us brought Him there, and in that garden He was pressed for our salvation. (Luke 22)
At the beginning of the year, I sought the Lord on how He wanted to frame my year. Out of several things He spoke, one of those was the phrase, “a well-watered garden.” Here’s what the Bible has to say about that phrase –
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. (Isaiah 58:11)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord – the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. (Jeremiah 31:13)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
In order to become a well-watered garden like mentioned in the passages above, we have to be watered. Spending time in His presence, reading His word, seeking His glory, praying – fervently, and resting in His promises (which are yes and amen, by the way!) is how we become well-watered. The by-product of a well-watered garden is blooming flowers that are radiant, aromatic, seen, unmasked, unadulterated and pure. It’s time, as daughters of God, bloom. Once we see ourselves bloom, seeds of change will be sown in our homes, families, relationships, churches, communities and workplaces. But, we don’t have to wait to start cultivating change. This season allows us to become creative in spreading the good news of the Gospel. We cannot keep the Gospel planted during this season. Spread His Word and start cultivating a shift – there’s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Snapchat, email, text, video, phone calls and so much more. Places of influence to flood with His goodness and mercy. In a word crowded with noise, the right sound needs to breakthrough and permeate. A January 2019 study by Tel-Aviv University in Israel, found that flowers respond to sound in such a way that they produced sweeter nectar almost instantly. The study (found here in full) tested evening primrose flowers and found that when the plants “heard” the buzzing of bees, they began producing almost instantly for the pollinators. Like us, the sound of heaven causes us to produce a sweeter nectar for those coming within an ear’s distance.
My home church always says, “it’s time for the church to leave the building.” Well friend, the church has literally left the building and this is our challenge to spread the Word of the Lord like seeds and cultivate a culture for the Kingdom. People are seeking a voice, a buzz for the truth. It’s no wonder we call it the “buzz.” Like John the Baptist making a way for Jesus, it’s time the voice in the wilderness is heard. Sporting events have been canceled. Stores and restaurants are closed. Entertainment centers have shut down. Distractions have clearly been eliminated and that void is meant to be filled with Word of the Lord. Bloom, now is the time.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13, emphasis my own)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
In closing, I encourage you to hold fast to the words and the promise found in the Song of Songs chapter 2.
Song of Songs 2:10-15, TPT (emphasis my own)
The one I love calls to me: Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling. Come away with me! I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out. For now is the time, my beautiful one. The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth and left it bright with blossoming flowers. The season for singing and pruning the vines has arrived. I hear the cooing of doves in our land filling the songs to awaken you and guide you forth. Can you not discern this new day of destiny breaking forth around you? The early signs of my purposes and plans are bursting forth. The budding vines of new life are now blooming everywhere. The fragrance of their flowers whispers, “There is change in the air.” Arise, my love, my beautiful companion, and run with me to the higher place. For now is the time to arise and come away with me. For you are my dove, hidden in the split-open rock. It was I who took you and hid you up high in the secret stairway of the sky. Let me see your radiant face and hear your sweet voice. How beautiful your eyes of worship and lovely your voice in prayer. You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together.The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
We don’t know how long we will be kept in this season, but there is hope in this promise. Right now, where you are, there is work to be done in the garden. The above says, “For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you.” Don’t let this season ruin what is planted in you. Instead, take this extra time to study, pray and create what He has planted within you. It’s time for us to get creative in sharing Christ and seeing this well-watered garden bloom. Will you join Him, the Master Gardener?
Father, I pray that we bloom with the radiance of a thousand flowers. That we become well-springs of life. That our roots run deep in You. That we let off an aroma pleasing to You. That our sweet nectar found from Your glory draws those around us in to see more of You. During this season, I pray we rise above the adversity with peace in our spirits. Fill us up during this time, so that we may be poured out. Protect us with Your mighty hand. Heal our land. Bring us to the other side of this with strength. And, Lord, on the other side of this season, I pray we see an increase in the Kingdom. That the harvest is reaped. That rival breaks forth like old wells in our cities and towns. In Your name – Amen.