I woke up this morning to snow in Mount Pleasant, but by midday I was walking the steep slope of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, in 90 degree temperatures. (Dave Durfee and I were flown out to Phoenix by Orchard Africa to attend a meeting to talk about our South Africa mission project. We took an afternoon before the meeting to see the mountains.) In the desert, everything is harsh. The terrain is hard and dry. The plant life is thorny and coarse. The temperatures often get well above 100 degrees. Except for the occasional chipmunks scurrying across the rock, much of the animal life is venomous. At the same time, though, it is a beautiful place. The rock is filled with shades of red, orange and purple. The cacti stand guard along the mountain side dressed in green. Then there are the desert flowers. Springing out of the dry and harsh terrain, flowers bloom with vibrant colors. The contrast is beautiful. Here is a picture of a bloom from a prickly pear cactus.
The prophet Isaiah must of gone for a walk one day in the desert when God inspired him to write these words of hope for the people of Israel. “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom, Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.” (Isaiah 35: 1-2)
Christianity is about life springing forth from death. It is about the beauty of hope being found in the most unlikeliest of places.
Experiencing a harsh, dry and rugged season of life? Are you finding life to be hard and unforgiving? God offers you the hope of the desert flower–it blooms even in a challenging environment.
Jesus is the desert flower. He brought life where there was only death. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection proves that life can spring out of pain or even just the daily grind of every day life.
Those who love and follow Jesus are desert flowers. How can you show there is life even in the harsh surroundings you find yourself in? Stand out in your work place, your home, your classroom, your family today through showing gladness and joy even in the midst of challenges. Burst into bloom today knowing the eternal hope you have in Christ Jesus.
I am excited to hear today how Orchard Africa and Community Church can continue to partner to bring hope to the people of our partner village in South Africa. Pray for Dave and I as we participate in a gathering of church leaders around the nation working together to see the wilderness rejoice and blossom.
Taken from Dave Durfee’s Camera.