Cold, bare ground. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? Stark. Uninviting. Barren of life.

The Bible compares our hearts to soil. This seems to be a very precise comparison sometimes. In hard times, my soul feels like that dark, grimy wasteland. My mind is like a hard-packed clod of muck.

1 Bare ground

We don’t see like God sees, though. Humans have limited eyesight. It takes faith to see the potential in things, and remaining in doubt is much less easier than living in faith.

Isn’t that an interesting comparison? The Bible compares faith to mustard seeds, doesn’t it?

So now we have cold, bare ground, and a teeny tiny seed of faith.

Are you starting to see the potential God sees? No? Not yet?

Give it time, beloved. Water your heart with the Word. Allow your tears to fall during prayer. Let the Sun shine on you. Lift up your head, your redemption draws nigh.

Oh, look! Do you see the little blades of green? They are poking their little heads up out of the dirt! Tender, tender shoots of hope — how beautiful they are!

2 Tender Shoots

Don’t crush them. Nurture them. Allow them to grow. Allow them to bear forth fruit. The wind will come, the birds will come, in some places (this year) the snow will come! But, by God’s grace, spring will show itself soon. And then there will be beautiful blooms.

Our journey doesn’t stop there though. No matter how much we wish it could. Life is a cycle. The seasons show it. Creation declares the glory of God.

After spring comes summer, after summer comes autumn. The time for sacrifice has returned. Flowers fade. Petals wither up and die. Ugly, dark seedpods are left. Then the wind scatters everything abroad.

Oh no! We are left with bare ground again, bare ground strewn with the remnants of what used-to-be-beautiful! We cry. God smiles.

Why does God smile? He smiles because He is holding each of our little seeds in His hand. He chooses where each tiny sacrifice falls to the ground. When the freezing, difficult winter passes, spring will come again, and a bountiful harvest will rise up. The cycle will start afresh, and we will all be stronger, wiser, and more beautiful.

He promises it.

3 Flowers