Keep Blooming

Upon awakening, I stumbled into the kitchen to brew a strong cup of hot coffee. As I did so, my bleary eyes landed on a most glorious sight.  In spite of being within the deep throes of autumn, a beautiful red hibiscus bud had bloomed overnight.

I instantly gave thanks, seeing this beautiful bloom as a gift from God.  It was as if I heard a whisper of His still, small voice speaking from within His creation of this single, vibrant, red bloom. I heard God encouraging me and saying, “Keep blooming.”

I think it is safe to say that times have been difficult for each and every one of us during this worldwide pandemic.  I know for myself that all of the major adjustments to our daily living as well as remaining isolated and socially distanced from one another, has led me to feel especially disconnected and emotionally distanced from others. As the months drag on, all of the changes and uncertainty have fostered a profound weariness. Add to all of this the need to consistently wear a mask when out in public, the job loss and/or job changes that have occurred, and the anxiety centered around the fear of getting sick (or witnessing loved ones get sick); life has indeed been demanding.  

keep blooming in spite of hardships by keeping eyes fixed on Jesus

Considering all hardship, with many of us encountering great suffering along the way, I cannot help but be drawn back to this vivid bloom and consider how God reaches out, inviting each of us to “keep blooming.”

Hebrews 12:2 reminds us that Christ “endured the cross” all for “the joy set before him…” He faced the torture, the scrutiny, the shame, and intense pain all for the joy of “sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God,” setting His beloved children free, and offering the gift of eternal life.  If we but “keep our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith,” (NLT) we truly can graciously step into God’s invitation to keep blooming.

Even when the trial seems never-ending, the health diagnosis terminal, the family dysfunctional, and hatred, riots, and violence abounding in the world, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will fill us and encourage us to keep blooming.

keep blooming with eyes fixed on Jesus

Maybe a way forward in being a vibrant bloom within the hardship is to find ways of extending ourselves. Sharing a little bit of tender-loving-care with others around us ushers in the gift of blessing and joy to the very countenance of our hearts.  I personally find it amazing how, when I take the time to care well for another, I am typically the one blessed through the gift of fulfillment, love, and satisfaction.  Encouragement and joy are found in helping others in need. It also reminds us that, for the sake of our own souls, it is critical for us to keep forgiving.  Keeping our eyes on Jesus reminds us to forgive, and inspires us to keep blooming.  

All in all, I am going to choose to not give up. Even as things may get harder before they get better, I am going to choose thankfulness.  I am going to press in to God, keep my eyes fixed on Jesus,  and allow Him to be at work within my heart.  All of this so I can continue to bloom, grow, and flourish right where He has me.  Will you join me? Let’s bloom alongside one another with eyes fixed on Jesus and hearts that are grateful. Just imagine the beautiful garden that will grow along with the difference we will make on this earth.

“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.’”

Isaiah 35:1-4, NLT

Published by Stacy Mcclelland

Stacy is a woman with Texas roots, who, as a lover of mountains, camping, and hiking, is ecstatic to call North Carolina as her current home. Stacy holds a degree in Elementary Education, yet has chosen to partner in ministry with her pastor-husband for the past two decades. Together they have three daughters, Stacy has been blessed with the opportunity to manage their home with a focus on raising their girls. Armed with experiences of walking through the hardships of life with many, Stacy has also had the opportunity to embrace the journey of sustaining joy, grace, and overcoming all things in Christ while walking alongside others. Having traveled many parts of the world, she yearns to support and edify others in and through their circumstances. Ministering to other women through the power of prayer, along with learning and growing in the understanding of the Bible and how it applies to our everyday lives has been where Stacy has discovered her “sweet spot” for teaching. She hopes another avenue for finding connection, and lifting others up, will be found through her writing.

2 thoughts on “Keep Blooming

  1. Good read and good advice.Here is my morning story.Decided to drink hot chocolate this morning instead of strong hot coffee. (Milk was dated 11/01/220 and needed something so mask the taste since it is 11/02/2020)Went outside to empty the recycling and saw my Hibiscus where Honey, (our deer) had jumped the fence and sampled parts of the Hibiscus.  Good news is that she did not eat any buds AND it drew my attention to the aphids that have invaded the plant.  Time to spray.  There was a reason Honey jumped the fence when she had not done so in weeks.  So See, God has a reason for everything. Thanks for sending. Dad


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