When God Surprises You with Beauty
I love to walk on the path built across the dam near my house. As the path slopes upward to the dam, the side by the lake is built up with big, gray rocks. It's just a wall of rock meeting the surface of the lake. No life or color to be seen.
But one day as I was walking, I noticed something. A cluster of pretty, yellow wildflowers had somehow managed to push their way up through the rocks and was standing tall, a startling splash of color in the midst of all the gray.
Now on the other side of the path is a grassy bank. It's not surprising at all to see little patches of wildflowers here and there. But flowers there in all that rock? Completely unexpected.
Beauty in the Unexpected
Isn't that what God loves to do? He springs up beauty in the most unlikely circumstances. Remember the children of Israel? They were traveling through the desert, suffering from thirst in a land where finding a stream of water seemed almost impossible. Yet, "He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers" (Ps. 78:16).
There are many accounts of growth in unlikely places throughout Scripture, but maybe none so obvious as the times God grew life in wombs that were thought incapable of nurturing life. Sarah was barren, but then Isaac grew in her. Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were all born to women who had been barren. And most amazing of all, the Christ child grew in the womb of a virgin. God can, and does, grow life in the most unlikely of places.
What an encouragement this is! No matter what circumstances surround you, God can grow life and beauty within you! Whether you are suffering physically, in a difficult marriage, in a church that's caught up in petty disagreements, mothering a wayward child, longing to nurture life in your own barren womb—or maybe it's just the everyday cares of life threatening to choke out the growth in your soul—God can grow life in you right in the midst of your own desert.
Willing to Grow
Paul, who knew no small amount of suffering himself, writes, "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Rom. 5:3–5). God will produce endurance, character, and hope in us when it looks like we are stuck in the rocks if we lift our faces toward Him, submit to Him, and trust Him to keep us growing.
Those little wildflowers at the dam found one tiny open space, and there they stand, beautiful, regardless of all the rocks around them—because they were willing to grow in that hard place. Are you thirsty in a desert? God can bring water. Are you feeling spiritually barren? God can grow life. Are you are surrounded by rocks on every side? If you are willing to lift your face to the Son, God can bring flowers.
Have you thought there is no way you can grow spiritually in your circumstances? Are you willing, like the flowers, to flourish even in the middle of the rocks? Spend some time in prayer, asking God to grow life in you even in the midst of your unlikely place.
Written by Monica Hall
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