Is there anyone on the planet who is NOT happy to see 2020 go?
For many of us, it has been a hard year personally, as well as for our communities, our nation—and literally, the world. But over the slow-moving months of 2020, I’ve seen how God has been busy breathing new life into situations that seemed hopeless to us.
We just don’t always recognize how he’s doing it.
Not long ago, I heard Pastor Joey Svendsen at our James and Johns Island campuses talk about this rare phenomenon in nature called Super Bloom, where the desert suddenly bursts into color with whole hillsides carpeted in wildflowers. That got my attention. In a desert? Why would masses of flowers suddenly bloom in dry, barren land?
“God has been busy breathing new life into situations that seemed hopeless to us.”
Pastor Joey explained how wildflower seeds can lie dormant for years in the dry desert soil, waiting for the right conditions to germinate and sprout. These conditions just happen to be harsh and unconventional. In California, after a wildfire burns the land, fire poppies use the heat and smoke to sprout yellow-orange flowers over charred ground. For other wildflowers, it can require unusually high amounts of rain. All we might see on the surface is the destruction, the run off, or the dry, cracked desert, but out of it God creates this breathtaking panorama of color and beauty.
What’s an area of your life that feels dry and barren, or maybe even burnt up beyond repair right now? I believe God is actively working in your life, but you just might not see it at the moment. It reminds me of Psalm 92:12-13: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
Not just survive. Flourish.
- Plant ourselves.
If we’re going to flourish, we have to stay planted even when conditions are harsh. Like the cedars of Lebanon, we root deeper and find new nutrients and resources in the soil. We can dig deeper into our relationship with God, his Word, and in our church and community.
- Stay through adversity.
Sometimes people stay only long enough for someone to say or do something wrong, and then they hop to another church, or into another relationship, giving up on their marriage. But those make for shallow roots that only survive in good conditions. In previous times, when something broke, you fixed it. You didn’t just throw it away. You stayed with it.In some ways, COVID-19 has forced us to go back to that a bit, with supplies not as available as they used to be. We’ve had to make do with what we had. We also had to stay home, in close quarters, day in and day out. Before, maybe it was easier to ignore or to avoid situations and tense relationships, but now we have to face them. Has God used this time to help you repair and restore some of your relationships, even if it was through forced fellowship?
- Experience the blessing of God.
I know many of you are going through really tough stuff at work and at home, and some of you are battling anxiety and depression. I’m not going to offer platitudes to try to make it all better. But I’m praying that when we stay planted in God’s Word, dig roots deep in the church and in the community, in each other, God will show us how the trials we’ve been through are really just dormant seeds about to bear fruit and bring new life.
In this new year, I see flowers popping up already. I’m believing a Super Bloom is on the way for all of us.