And Blossom as the Rose

I need a miracle, Father. You didn’t bring me to the wilderness to die but to teach me like a father would do for a son. You arm is not short but is mighty and able to help me. Come just like you promise me. Be my living water and quench my thirst. Be the fire and cloud that lead me. You are a God of miracles. I believe in You.

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose…” (Isa. 35: 2 KJV)

Our wilderness exposed our weaknesses. It always does; that’s the nature of every wilderness experience. Consider this: as a follower of Christ, you will one day enter a season of helplessness where you no longer call the shots and know what to do. It will seem as if you don’t have what it takes to survive—finding yourself in a place and a season where only Christ will be your strength.

I am praying for you, Mack. Let go of your fear.

Let God take you to a journey where there no guarantee and to the unknown. Let Jesus take you to a new world you have never seen before. It is place between planting and harvesting, between promise and fulfillment. Living in a world where we are widely accustomed to instant gratification, the concept of having to wait can be frustrating. Yet if we understand the purpose and potential of these times, we can learn to cooperate with God and enjoy the journey.

The One whose name is Living Water is within you. This wonderful Jesus brings you a life-giving stream, fulfilling every need no matter how difficult the many surprises of life can be. He is within you as a well of water “springing up into everlasting life!” (John 4: 14).

This “springing well” begins to flow inside until praise rises up out of you again. Before you know it, the springs are watering everything around you—and every dry place within you. You will see things differently, you will feel differently about the people around you, and you will see things you didn’t even notice before. When Jesus shows up in the wilderness, it disappears. It becomes a garden.

I’m giving His word to you. Reading from the book of Hosea chapter two, verses fourteen to fifteen:

And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.

Your wilderness (your life with its surprises and setbacks) will blossom with a rose; and that rose is Christ! Jesus, the Rose, will be found in your desert days, bringing a new fragrance and a new song. What you thought was an impossible climate for overcoming will become the canvas for a rose. Miracles are waiting to be found in your wilderness. Even in a wilderness, God can work in power. He doesn’t need perfection to pull off a miracle. He’s done it before with nothing but chaos all around. It was called creation! There is no shortage of power with God. He can make lame ones leap and broken ones sing.

Many live with a sense of destiny and promise but struggle to see how it can be fulfilled in the light of their present circumstances. That can be a frustrating situation, especially when they see how God is already moving in the lives of others. It invites all sorts of questions: Why not me? I know God has called me to greater things, so why do I feel stuck where I am? What am I doing wrong? When will God fulfill the promises He gave me?

This is a very common experience, and it can be disorienting if we don’t understand what God is doing or know how to respond to it. Some people call it a “wilderness” and for good reason. Like Joseph in Egypt, the Israelites on the their way to the Promised Land, David in exile, and many other figures in Scripture, we are in the midst of a process between calling and fulfillment. Through their experiences we are able to take hope in the truth that God will also bring us through whatever situation we may find ourselves in. 

Jesus spent years waiting for God’s timing in His life too. He didn’t begin His ministry until He was about thirty (Luke 3:23) which means there were long years of waiting. He had a calling. He had a vision. And He had God’s promises, but He was not yet walking in the fullness of what God called Him to do. He also had an actual wilderness experience in which He overcame temptation and was able to solidify the reality that God had spoken and could be trusted.

In the wilderness we have the same opportunity to have our trust in God’s words tested and solidified until they become like iron in our soul. (See Psalm 105:18-19.)

The enemy came at Jesus in the wilderness with all sorts of temptations and distractions, doing everything he could to steer Him away from His purpose, distort His thinking, or question His identity. But when Jesus came out of the wilderness, He began ministering with power the world had never seen before.

A lot of Christian leaders and teachers are doing a great job equipping God’s people for their calling, showing the way to walk in God’s power, and casting vision. Not many talk about the process between promise and fulfillment or calling and destiny, so the wilderness can come as a shock to those who are unprepared.

I believe there is a great need in our time to understand the processes of God, the baptism of fire, and the joy and power of surrender. My personal journey included years of frustration and wondering what God was doing, but I learned to lean on Him in those times and came out with a relationship that could not be shaken. Whenever I share this, it seems to resonate with many people. Some remark on how rare it is to hear from others about their years of preparation and their behind the scenes stories of trials God has brought them through. Many are encouraged to know the process from wilderness to wonders.

I believe you can embrace your journey with fresh hope and perspective, and that not only will you survive the seasons between promise and fulfillment, but thrive in them. In fact, with the right kind of response, your wilderness season can become a time of accelerated growth and fruitfulness.

I hope that encourages you. Wilderness seasons are a great opportunity to lean on your Beloved and learn the deep things of His Spirit. You learn to anchor yourself in the One who gives you lasting joy. You learn to carry the peace of God in every situation because the Prince of Peace is within you. You learn not to let the wilderness or the enemy shape your identity because you find your identity entirely in Him.

In the wilderness we learn to dream God’s dreams. We discover God as our source in every situation. We learn how to respond to temptation, injustice and pain. We not only endure obstacles and storms, we become victorious in them and rise above them. In the wilderness we learn to recognize divine invitation and wage war with the promises God has given to us. Regardless of what we are going through, in the wilderness we learn to find our delight in God alone.

God wants to be the glory and the lifter of your head in every situation (Ps. 3:3) No matter how difficult your circumstances may seem, He wants you to look up and see His glorious face. He wants to tell you how lovely, free, clean, and redeemed you are. God wants you to know you are the beloved apple of His eye and that He has created you to shine.

The wilderness cannot prevent you from shining. Jesus shone in His wilderness season and you can too. Jesus’ wilderness experience became one of His greatest victories. That can be your testimony too. You are destined to shine just as He does and to walk in His power, doing even greater works than He did. And even if you are in the midst of a wilderness, that can begin right now.

Prayer Power for the Week

This week pray that the Lord will help you embrace your life’s journey with fresh hope and perspective, so that not only will you survive the seasons between promise and fulfillment, but thrive in them. Ask Him to help you have the right kind of response, so that it can become a time of accelerated growth and fruitfulness. Continue to pray for those people who may not have a place to go. Offer hospitality. Pray for homes to be open. Lift up our spiritual, civic and government leaders and pray for revival to spread across the land and around the world. (Ps. 3:3; 1 Thess. 5:16-18; 1 Tim. 2:1-3).

Our wilderness starts growing flowers when Jesus flows from within us. His presence satisfies the deep thirst that dries up the soul and places us in a weary land or a weary season. Whoever heard of roses blooming in a desert?

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