Beauty in Barren Land

| | |

A flash of color catches my attention as I pull out of my driveway. There among some dead and dying bushes was one bright red flower. I never planted flowers there. In fact we have spent three falls in this house and have never seen anything like it before.

In defiance of the very dry and very hot summer, this flower appeared. On its right and left are cherry laurels both with more brown leaves than green. Yet this flower stands tall and beautiful.

Isn’t this just like God? He shows up and brings His beauty in the most unexpected places. In the middle of death, hardship, loss, longing, He is, He comes, and He exchanges beauty for ashes.

We see it in the cross. Life from death. We see it in dead trees that nourish the ground so other trees may live. We see it in our whys. We experience it in peace that passes understanding. We watch it in reconciliation of broken marriages, miraculous healings, or even in the eternal healing of heaven.

God’s presence changes things. Just like the presence of this flower turned what looked like barren and dead ground into a thing of beauty. So God’s presence–though sometimes confusing and painful–can change our dead, fallow, and difficult circumstances into beauty. We may never see that beauty this side of heaven, but we can know that His presence transforms our circumstances if we only let it.

Where are you? Are you in God’s meadow? Rest in Him. Are you looking for a flower in the midst of barrenness? Seek Him. He is there and His presence makes all the difference.