Monday, 17 September 2012

The small miracle of flowers in concrete

It was a sight so arresting, it halted my journey up Christie Street.

From the side of the curb, only inches from the street, were flowers growing from a minuscule break in the concrete. Beautiful purple cosmos bloomed where there should only be rock and pavement.

There is a lesson here.

More than "Bloom where you are planted." These flowers weren't planted. They sprang forth in the most difficult of places and spread their beauty among the feet, the tires and the bustle of a busy street.

All of us have times of concrete in our lives. Difficult situations that don't improve, even with fervent prayer. The illness goes on and on, the struggling financial situation you can't get on top of, the relationship issue doesn't get resolved. There are times when the concrete hardens and the situation doesn't change . We storm the gates of heaven, but for a period of time, we are called to live in the concrete. And bloom.

Why? Every situation is different, and many times, there is no answer to that question this side of heaven. My poor lifestyle choices, or my own sin may have caused the concrete, but often, there is no discernible reason. The concrete is there and I am here and I need to find a way to cope with it.

The neat thing is, I am not alone.

God is the god of the concrete, and He promises to be with me. "Shout for joy, you heavens: rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones." Is. 49:13

He is there in the middle of the concrete situations, holding me up and encouraging me to bloom.

Blooming doesn't mean dealing with the situation perfectly every time, but facing the daily challenges, and finding a way to not only cope, but thrive. At least some of the time.

Blooming is the blind lady with the incredible sense of humour. She bemoaned the lack of men in her life, and asked why I didn't bring my husband. When I replied he was sick that day, she batted her sightless eyes and said, "I'm a nurse!"

It's the woman who was diagnosed with cancer, and said, "Well, when I lose my hair, I'm getting a wig, and it's going to be red. I always wanted to be a redhead."

It's the couple who can't have children, but celebrate every child that comes into their lives as a gift from God.

Blooming is acknowledging the concrete is there, but concentrating on the flowers. Looking for God's hand and God's help.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you." Deut. 31:5,6

Are there "stuck in concrete" issues in your life? How are you blooming?

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