Bloom Anyway

by Paula Harrington
cactusflower3.jpgOur 54 year old cactus was a gift to my mother-in-law years before my husband was born. It came from Arizona when it was only a couple inches tall and now reaches to a height of seven feet and weighs upwards of 150 lbs.
That tough, old cactus with spines sharper than needles, has one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers to bloom. However, one might never know considering it only does so in the dead of night. By sunrise, the blossom and stem have fallen to the ground.
There are several examples in the Bible of people who bloomed during the darkest circumstances. When faced with the annihilation of her people, and despite her fear, Esther took a critical risk (Esther 5).
When thrown in the dungeon, Joseph remained faithful (Genesis 41ff). In the belly of the whale, alone and terrified, Jonah prayed (Jonah 2). When confronted with an approaching storm, Noah worked (Genesis 6:22).
When people doubted, Joshua and Caleb believed (Numbers 14:6-9). In the agony of grief, Job worshiped (Job 1:20). When others turned from God, Jeremiah proclaimed God’s greatness (Jeremiah 7). When his death loomed near, the Son of God served (John 13:5ff). In prison, Paul and Silas sang (Acts 16:25).
That Arizona cactus shouldn’t be blooming in my Western Kentucky backyard, but it does, almost every year. And just like it, I know children of God who shouldn’t be where they are today. However, due to their unyielding faith and deep love for their Savior, they refuse to let their circumstances define them.
Seek refuge in the Scriptures and know that others have been where you are. Be courageous, face your dark and trying times, and bloom anyway.

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Paula Harrington

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