Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bloom (11/22/12)
TITLE: Beautiful Blooms
By Frankie Kemp
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This morning, the Lord whispered peace to me, affirmation of my infinite value to the Creator of the Universe. Today, I meant to simply peak at this week’s challenge topic, and when I did, I got a blessing—a reminder that His Presence has been whispering the same message to me since the day He claimed me. This week’s topic: “Bloom.” I’ve already written it--MONTHS AGO—way back in July in my journal and in a blog entry.
You see, I have been on a strange journey through a strange season in this life, but HE has never left me. Through it all, He has covered me with His Grace and Mercy, assuring me of the blessings of His Presence, despite the circumstances beyond my control. He’s been telling me all along that He’s never left me nor forsaken me, but I have trouble hanging on to that knowing. This morning, with the challenge topic and the blessing of memory, He has reminded me again of all the moments He’s whispered peace to me. What is MOST precious about this message is that it’s not just for me. It’s for all of us. He didn’t just tell me this—He tells us all, in one way or another. Here’s what I wrote months ago that is still true today:
This morning, reflecting on what just a few blooms will do to lighten perspective , I heard my Savior’s voice. He used those blooms to speak to my heart. Simply enjoying the ease of His Presence, I marveled at the difference in me. Where did it come from? Is it a product of something I did--something I finally got right? Nope. Can't be me. Absolutely, without question, it is NOT a product of anything I did. Grace--unearned, can't be manufactured or created by me. He whispered a little metaphor to me to help me understand the difference between "doing" and "being."
Consider a rosebush growing in a desert. She wants to bloom, so she does everything she can to produce beautiful roses. She thinks all day long about what it takes to be a beautiful rose bush; she spends her energy and her focus preparing for beautiful blooms, learning all she can about beautiful blooms, working her roots trying to stir up the soil, straining as hard as she can to make rose buds appear--yet she remains a rosebush growing in a desert trying to make herself bloom.
Then the Master Gardener appears, and He touches her leaves and reminds her that she is a royal rosebush. All she has to do is be who she is and focus on what He does and who He is, not what she can or should be doing. He brings her living water and specially selected fertilizer. Then, with tender care and pruning, He begins to work on her. When she stops thinking so hard about being a rosebush and stops trying so hard to create her own blooms, she realizes that she can rest. She realizes that she enjoys what the Gardner does and that it is A GOOD THING to be a royal rosebush growing in a desert, with or without blooms. BUT . . . the more He works on her, the blossoms begin to appear. Such is the way of the Master Gardener.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for wearing a crown constructed of thorns from this rosebush so that she might bud roses that reflect YOUR GRACE AND BEAUTY!
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
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